Credo Restaurant: Celebrating Local Produce & Sustainable Practices in Trondheim, Norway

Credo restaurant, run by founder Heidi Bjerkan, is located in Trondheim, Norway. The restaurant serves food cooked from ingredients grown in the Trøndelag region, fish and shellfish sourced from the waters surrounding it, and dairy products cultivated with a focus on flavours and sustainable practices. The most important elements at Credo are the raw ingredients as well as highlighting the flavours of each product when in peak season. Herbs and spices – such as nasturtiums and chilies – are grown on the premises. Heidi is passionate about raising awareness about our food systems and aims to improve farming practices while preserving the traditional food cultures of the Trøndelag region.

Razor clams scallop and carpet shells from the Trondheim Fjord

“Bjerkan has been a revolution of sorts in Scandinavia, one of the first to showcase Norway’s pure, raw flavors, and a long-time advocate and champion of local produce, lifting it and bringing it into the spotlight. Sourcing local, organic ingredients directly from good farms has long been her credo (her belief) – way back before it was trendy to do so. But her boldness paid off – she’s still open 25 years later, she earned the restaurant a Michelin star back in 2019, and, even more importantly, she’s become a symbol in the industry for what it means to be sustainable, and teaching others how to put that into practice.”

For Heidi, the farmers and fishermen are the heroes of our time: It is their work that should shine above all others. The team works with several local farmers and suppliers to source the freshest vegetables and produce for the set menu served at Credo, such as Skjølberg Søndre farm south of Trondheim. Each team member of Credo restaurant spends time at the farm to help sow seeds or during harvest.

“I want to highlight all ingredients in their best form: I want all ingredients – from the fish, shellfish, dairy, vegetables, and meats – to speak for themselves, and not create too much on the plate. I aim to highlight and celebrate the farmers and fishermen we work with every day.”

The restaurant first opened its doors in 1998 in the city center before relocating to its current premises in Lilleby, Trondheim in February 2018. The restaurant is situated in an old workshop hall building from 1948, modernised by Skibnes Arkitekter for the new restaurant, surrounded by modern-day architecture and residential buildings. Architects behind the Credo restaurant have given the building a grand glass facade, and the exposed structure has given the restaurant an urban character while maintaining its industrial history. The spacious dining room has a beautiful view of the nearby gardens and its surrounding neighbours.

Lamb from Stokkøya homemade curry peas and brioche bread

Guests can expect beautifully executed dishes, such as barbecued and glazed langoustine with brown butter emulsion, potato bread with aquavit butter churned in-house, and black pudding with lingonberries. Upon arrival, guests are brought upstairs to the mezzanine to start the meal with a series of snacks prepared by the chefs in front of them. Credo restaurant serves unique wines from all over the world – both natural and classic wines – as well as a large range of sake, craft beers, juices, and infusions. When sourcing wines, and other beverages, Heidi and her team use the same principles as when sourcing ingredients for the menu: Accompanying the dishes is a constantly evolving selection of wines, carefully sourced in line with a philosophy that focuses on sustainable practices. The sommelier team carefully selects the wines to accompany the set menu which consists of 20-25 servings each evening.

Credo restaurant seats up to 35 guests per night and is open from Wednesday to Saturday for dinner. After its opening in 2018, Credo has received high acclaim in both Norwegian and international media, such as the Financial Times. Credo restaurant was awarded one star in the Michelin Guide in 2019 and received a badge for the Michelin Guide’s sustainable award. During the award ceremony of the Michelin Guide Nordic in 2022, Credo Restaurant was awarded the “Welcome and Service Award 2022”.

“Credo Restaurant puts nature’s elements—earth, water, fire, and air—right at the heart of the dining experience and celebrates diversity through a variety of techniques and serving methods. This is a meal that is sure to awaken all your senses.” – White Guide Nordic

Along with Credo Restaurant Heidi Bjerkan also founded Jossa mat og drikke, a casual eatery located on the same premises. Jossa offers its signature “sandwich bonanza” on Saturdays and brunch on Sundays. Highlights from the brunch menu here include open-faced sandwiches with rye fish, herbs, and pickled greens, tartare with cep mushroom, crispy sourdough, and their own “Eggs Jossa”. Jossa mat og drikke serves dinner from Wednesday to Saturday, offering a 4-course menu as well as à la carte, with servings such as the crispy waffle with lumpfish roe and sour cream from Skjølberg Søndre Farm, crab roll, and steamed mussels from Hitra with fries and habanero.

Krumkake (Norwegian shortbread) cloudberry with cream and ice cream

As a part of the Credo family – commonly named Sirkus Credo – is also Edoramen, a ramen restaurant located in Lilleby’s old historic orphanage; Finnes. Edoramen serves authentic Japanese ramen with noodles made from rye, ancient grains, and carefully sourced ingredients from the Trøndelag region, such as shiitake and mushroom pigs from Trøndersopp, a small farm in Leksdal, using the same philosophy as Credo restaurant with a focus on sustainable practices. Edoramen is open for dinner from Wednesday to Sunday.

Heidi has a huge passion for sharing her knowledge with younger generations: She is also co-founder of the non-profit Geitmyra Credo – a culinary food center for children, located next to Credo restaurant in Lilleby. Geitmyra Credo is a place where children can discover the joys of cooking, preparing, and eating delicious and healthy food, and that the joy of good food has intrinsic value. Through classes for children in food and health, courses for kindergartens as well as teachers and parents of children, Geitmyra Credo wishes to contribute to children making better food choices and understanding that each time they cook or eat, they are participants in the food chain; as co-producers, not simply consumers.

About Heidi Bjerkan

Heidi Bjerkan is a Norwegian chef and the founder of Credo Restaurant. Heidi grew up in Trondheim and on her grandfather’s boat in Garten along the Trøndelag coast. Here, she developed strong connections to the land and sea, which can be seen in her cooking. Heidi’s career within the hospitality industry started when she was eighteen years old during a summer job at Østbanehallen in Oslo. She soon saw her passion and wanted to become a chef: The high tempo in a kitchen fed her natural habit of being restless. Heidi was the Head Chef for the Royal Family of Norway for eight years alongside working at Credo.

Heidi now runs Credo Restaurant and its sister restaurants – Jossa mat og drikke and Edoramen – at Lilleby in Trondheim. Heidi is passionate about raising awareness of our food systems, improving land use practices, and preserving the traditional food cultures of the Trøndelag region. For Heidi, the farmers are the heroes of our time, and it is their work that should shine above all others.

 Launch of the Credo Competence Center

After more than 30 years as a chef and food culture ambassador, Heidi has observed a change in the knowledge and understanding that society has to make the right choice for themselves and others. This is what her restaurants have worked with every day, but during the last years, it has been necessary for Heidi to spend more time with children and young people. Knowledge about our food system; where it comes from, and what it does to us, can be the key to solving the major climate challenges we’re facing. This is why we opened Credo Competence Center. With our cooking expertise from the kitchen – and our close relationships with industry producers, research, and public affairs, we must act to change. We will work to acquire and share knowledge, skills, and attitudes about the value of the Earth. We believe this will contribute to creating a better world. We want to do this in tangible ways by being a competence arena that offers learning activities, courses, seminars, and publications, among other things. The training arena will be in collaboration with our partners across sectors to be able to show concrete action. This is through new creation, innovation, and local anchoring.