10th december – a dynamic date

It all started with dynamite and ends up with the most spectacular banquet in the world.
Frist a little about Mr Alfred Nobel, Mr Dynamite – born 1833 in Stockholm and died in Italy 1896, he became 63 years old. His last will be signed in Paris the year before his death and the assets were at his death; $186 million. In 2007 the Nobel foundation’s assets were $560 million. More interesting reading at Nobelprize.org

Every prize winner gets $1.4 million today on 10th December at Stockholm Concert Hall – the prizes are handed out by our king, Karl XVI Gustaf. Awarded for outstanding contributions to physics, chemistry, literature, peace, physiology or medicine. The peace prize ceremony will be held in Oslo, Norway on 11th December.

Image provided by and thanks to lansforsakringar.se

Image provided by and thanks to lansforsakringar.se

There is also a prize in memory of Alfred Nobel in Economic Sciences that is given by Svenska Riksbanken (The Swedish National Bank). The first prize award was in 1901 and one of the first prizes went to Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen for his discovery of X-ray. In Sweden, we still call X-ray for “röntgen”

This year there has been problems inside the institution, 6 members have been leaving their seats, the seats are given for a lifetime.  The institution that awards the Nobel Prize for Literature is mired in a sexual and financial scandal so deep that this year’s prize may be postponed for the first time in more than seven decades. A massive riot inside the Swedish Academy.


Jean-Claude Arnault, a French photographer, and husband of poet Katarina Frostenson. Arnault, a leading cultural figure in Sweden, was facing multiple allegations of sexual assault and harassment. He was convicted this week, for two cases of rape.

The 2018 Nobel Prize winners are;

Physics – Arthur Ashkin, Gérard Mourou, and Donna Strickland.
“for groundbreaking inventions in the field of laser physics””
Chemistry -Frances H. Arnold, George P. Smith, and Sir Gregory P. Winter.
“for the directed evolution of enzymes”
Medicine – James P. Allison and Tasuku Honjo
“for their discovery of cancer therapy by inhibition of negative immune regulation.”
Literature – none
“The Swedish Academy has decided to postpone the 2018 Nobel Prize in Literature”
TThe Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel 2018
Paul Romer and William Nordhaus”
“for integrating climate change into long-run macroeconomic analysis”
and “for integrating technological innovations into long-run macroeconomic analysis.”

Peace Prize – Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad
“Courageously combating war crimes and seeking justice for victims”

The winners and their guest are in Stockholm for a week and they have a very intense dance program. Something every day up to the main event today.


So now to what follows after the prize ceremony – the Nobel Banquet, a sit-down meal for 1350 guests – in the Blue Hall of Stockholm Town Hall. I dare to call it – the most well-organized meals in the world, plus the biggest. All 1300 guest, that includes the whole Swedish Royal Family get served at the same time and the food has to be carried down a massive staircase.

The tables are set with specially designed porcelain, crystal glasses, and cutlery – everything has 18-carat gold in the décor. Anyone that can afford and want to, can buy the pieces from the manufacturers. The flowers are all a gift from Italy but arranged by the royal florist. As chef’s and waiters – anyone can apply for be at service at this special evening. The picking process is tough, there is also staff invited. Every waiter has to be able to do silver service for 8 guests at the time.

© stockholm.se

© sverigesradio.se

2011 – was the executive chef female with a brigade of 49 chef’s, Malin Söderström – mostly new invite for every year. One executive chef, Johnny Johansson has been running 10 Nobel banquets in total. The breakdown of all the other staff is; 220 waiters, 70 wine waiters, 18 kitchen porters and 10 maître de. 10000 pieces of cutlery will be used.

The table set up is all Swedish design and manufacturing – of course: all websites in English. Beautiful stuff to look at. Have a look around you won’t regret it.
Rörstrand  – porcelain
Orrefors  – glasses
Gense – cutlery

All designed for the 90’s anniversary of the Nobel Prize and used for the first time in 1991.

The Menu – are always written in French with translation in English and Swedish, somebody told me that the 2 translations are on the back of the menu card.


Tom Sjöstedt gets the job as the excutive chef for the second consecutive year. Tom Sjöstedt, 42, is Sweden’s most admired and faded food artist. Perhaps that’s why he is facing the Sunday mega party with 1,300 guests in the Blue Hall in Stockholm City Hall. Tom was named Chef of the Year 2008. Sjöstedt participated in the Swedish cookie team when it won a gold medal at the World Championships in Luxembourg in 2006. Since 2013 he runs Lilla Ego restaurant on Västmannagatan 69, Stockholm, together with Daniel Räms, chef of the year 2013.

All Tom has said about tonight’s dinner is “I can reveal, just for you that the appetizer becomes vegetarian” The menu is kept secret until the first dish is being served.

This is last years menu for Nobel Banquet.


MENU 2017

Pressé de topinambour séché, fleurs de chou-rave
avec gingembre et consommé de chou poêlé


Selle d’agneau en croute, terrine de pommes de terre crème au fromage Svedjan,
betterave jaune, céleri-rave au sel, salade de pommes
et jus aromatisé au romarin


Bavarois aux myrtilles givrées, glace à la myrtille avec thym citronné,
gelée, crème et meringues au citron vert


Taittinger Brut Réserve
Domini la Cartoixa Formiga De Vellut 2014
Viña Errázuriz Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc 2016

Café & Mélange de Thé Musée Nobel

Grönstedts Extra Cognac

Facile Punsch

Eau Minérale Stenkulla Brunn

Stadshusrestauranger en collaboration avec
le Chef Tom Sjöstedt ainsi que le Chef Pâtissier Daniel Roos


Translation (English):

Pressed and dried Jerusalem artichoke, served with kohlrabi flowers
flavoured with ginger and lightly roasted cabbage broth


Crispy saddle of lamb, potato terrine with Svedjan crème,
yellow beet, salt-baked celeriac, apple salad and rosemary-spiced lamb gravy


Frosty bilberry bavaroise, bilberry ice cream with lemon thyme,
lime jelly, lime curd and lime meringues


Taittinger Brut Réserve
Domini la Cartoixa Formiga De Vellut 2014
Viña Errázuriz Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc 2016

Coffee & Nobel Museum Tea Blend

Grönstedts Extra Cognac
Facile Punsch
Eau Minérale Stenkulla Brunn

Stadshusrestauranger in collaboration with Chef Sayan Isaksson
and Pastry Chef Daniel Roos


Translation (Swedish):

Pressad och torkad jordärtskocka, serveras med kålrabbiblommor
smaksatta med ingefära samt mildrostad kålbuljong


Frasig lammsadel, potatisterrin med Svedjancrème,
gulbeta, saltbakad rotselleri, äppelsallad och rosmarinkryddad lammsky


Frostig blåbärsbavaroise, blåbärsglass med citrontimjan,
limegelé, limecurd och limemaränger


The Nobel Prize is also about the Swedish Royal Ladies dresses, hairstyles, and magnificent jewelry – here they are from 2017.


After the dinner is there up to dance in the Golden Hall and the guest has to give an extra yes to their invitation if they want to attend the ball In 2011 50% said yes and was dancing the night away.
The dress code for the evening is; formal – so kilt is welcome, but not a tuxedo. Enjoy your evening.


And tomorrow evening our King Karl XVI Gustaf is holding a dinner for all prize winners and their guests.

“I’d kill for a Nobel Peace Prize.”
Steven Wright



92 thoughts on “10th december – a dynamic date

  1. Very useful info on the Nobel Prize, Viveka. I’m always so curious about these huge banquets where guests are the creme de la creme of society.

    I’ve been to Stockholm once, after Christmas. It was extremely cold, around -15C during the day. The lake by the city hall was frozen.

    • A lot milder this year – it can be freezing cold – I think Copenhagen has a Stockholm winter this year. Everything is up side down. Malou – it’s not a lake .. it’s the sea. *smile

      • Thanks for the clarification, Viveka. It was too cold then that we could walk on ice. I love Stockholm, really pretty!

  2. Yes, it’s a very beautiful city – with all the bridges and all the water – have been writing about it in the beginning of my blog. They have what we call – bräckt vatten = brackish water. It’s very common that the ocean fezzes up along our coast during winter – so people how lives on the islands can drive the car over to main land.
    Welcome back!

  3. I would like to win a Nobel Prize, right after my Pulitzer, but they don’t have open entries.
    All that money spent on a single meal, would be nice if they donated it somewhere, right? But that’s an utopia, so I would gladly accept an invitation for that banquet.

    • I think Noble org … give so much money away to people that will make a different to the world … forever I hope. Look at the X-ray … I wouldn’t mind winning the prize neither – but I’m not clever enough or my interests are not on the subject list. The dinner I would love to go too …. Going watch on TV this evening, the closest I will get.

    • Thanks, Bab … yes, I wouldn’t mind that special phone call and I would love to buy a Valentino gown for the dinner … *smile.
      Wish you a great week too.

    • Thank you so much … I was trying to get a similar music piece by our Swedish composer, Roman – but not able to post it, so I went for this .. because it’s very regal too. Love this piece … just watching the dinner on TV now. 270 waiters are serving .. and the starter had Swedish caviar, my favorite treat.

  4. Interesting information…I never had thought about what this gala would be like on awards night. I always found the story about Mr. Nobel very ironic. How peaceful would the world be if he hadn’t discovered dynamite? Doesn’t matter. I am sure someone else would’ve done so.

    • Dynamite, we need for buildings, roads and tunnels too – and like nuclear we need for our comfort in our life – so we can have warm water, radio … TV and light in our homes. And the world would be much more peaceful without that too – we have to take the evil with the good.
      At least Mr Nobel do something good after his death with the money he gets out of his invention. *smile

  5. Well, such interesting information. Who knew? I most probably won’t be having to work on my acceptance speech, but what an honor and what a meal. I’ve been so out of touch lately it’s nice to hear the familiar great choice of music on your blog 🙂

    • Susan, you’re welcome when ever it suits you – if you becames a Nobel prize winner …. I hope you invite me to the dinner too. You can bring so many as you want – I heard. Have already seen the gown – if Valentino are willing to make it my size. *smile
      I enjoy “Water Music” too – great piece.

  6. Great post! Funny to see one of our local wines on the menu. The table settings are beautiful…particularly the glassware (we have a thing for glassware). Thanks for sharing!

    • Yes, it’s some party .. this year it was 270 waiters. I will check out what wines they served this year. We, Swedes like Californian wines.
      The glasses are stunning, especially the champagne glass. I have a thing for glasses too.

    • The peace prize is always very controversy – I think EU was a good choice for at least they are working for peaceful solutions and they support the peace process around the world.

  7. Lovely, Viveka! Someone should hire you for promoting Sweden! Maybe you will get an invitation for this dinner then? The music is so right too – you are a specialist. I surely would never get the prize and I would never even try…know my limits too well..

    I often use this special event and this dinner to convince my students about the importance of being well educated and versatile – what about ending up here and having to keep up converstions with really brainy people!

    • A-C, I think my chance to be invited to the Nobel Dinner is very small. And the Nobel Prize … no chance.
      This post I did 2 years ago and I will post it every year .. because today is a day when my blue & yellow heart is massive. So proud over the Nobel Prize.

      I think it’s a grand idea to push Nobel on to the students – what a honor to be invited and as you say meet all this extra ordinary people that are changing and making our world better .. in some way.

  8. Wow! That is very interesting!
    I would like to join a Nobel Prize dinner – just watching and looking at all the interesting people 🙂
    Have you been there? Or worked there?
    Big hugs xo 🙂

    • Dia, I would love to join the dinner too … never been and never worked either. It’s always a big honor to be the executive chef of the Nobel Dinner, because you’re being asked.
      I just think that the whole Nobel Prize is such massive and great thing that Sweden has created and every 10th of December my heart is more blue and yellow than normal. Did this post in 2011 and I will re-post every year so long as I blog.
      Time for specialist this afternoon. Can’t wait. *smile

  9. Interesting! It’s too late for me to dream of getting a Nobel Prize and am sure it’s not in the grand scheme of things even if I am young. Congratulations to all the awardees, they are all so deserving.

    • Nobel Prize … I think that is the ultimate award for anyone – and I’m not smart enough .. for any of them, maybe the Peace prize. *smile – that prize is also have a lot more fun around it .. with big Hollywood stars as hosts and famous artists.
      Never too late to get … the Nobel Prize … any age, you can even be dead .. and still get it. *smile

  10. It’s a special day for you today as well, Vivi 🙂 Hope they can find a good solution to your problems. Then we can have a REAL celebration banquet! (do you think they’d let me come and just dance? I wouldn’t even eat a nibble or get in anyone’s way. Well- I might step on a few toes 🙂 ) Good luck for today, hon. Big hugs xx

    • Yes, Jo .. thank a million. Jumping into the shower now to get ready. Are a little nervous … don’t like to be examined in that part of the body.
      Will put your hugs … under my coat for my train journey into Malmö Hospital.

    • Sylvia, yes … it’s a very special honour for everyone invited – there is also students invited and people like you and me. We have put in a request, maybe next year. *smile

  11. Thank you for this post, it is surprising that our media doesn’t report more about it. The prize-winners have been working on some interesting matters, so not only the food and the service are second to none, but also the company and the conversation. We have a lot to learn from Sweden.

  12. I’m proud to say that a Canadian shared the Nobel Prize for Physics. I heard that “neutrino” experiments took place right here in my home town of Sudbury, Ontario. Thanks for posting this glimpse into the pageantry of the occasion.

    • It’s a fantastic evening …. and one of the most viewed direct broadcasted events for us, Swedes. Both the award ceremony and after that the dinner with all the entertainment.
      To get the Nobel Prize must be fantastic … and it’s the top cake. Not often a Swede gets it those days, but this year … in Chemistry.
      I publish this post 10th of December every year .. only add the new winners and change it a little bit every year. Congratulations to Canada.

    • Lulu, my pleasure … I think most Swedes are very proud over the Nobel Prize. Then we have the Polar prize for music. I post this post every year, I change some details and images. I’m very proud.

  13. You’d be totally in your element, Vivi. 🙂 🙂 That cake entrance is spectacular. It was my grandma’s birthday too but she’s been gone a long, long time. How are things with you, and where this Christmas? I’m sure you’ve told me but my geriatric brain doesn’t hold much.

    • Hi there, cold and sunny this morning up here – but no minus. A nice change to all the wet and grey we had for a week now.
      Tbilisi, Georgia is where I will spend my Christmas – leaving on 21th – 6 nights. So excited over the trip. Don’t know much about the city, have done some home work … have booked a photography guide for £30, because some of the beautiful old wooden houses has hidden treasures inside. too.

    • Well done, Mr. Nobel!!! And the Nobel Org for taking so well care of his money. *smile In 2017, the total sum of all Nobel Prizes and operations amounted to 102.6 million SEK/€9,5/£8,65/$11.2million – and it’s all Nobel’s money after 116 years as the prize has been handed out. That is a lot of money every year.

  14. A beautiful day for us – despite the literature prize left out. Love this post of yours, Viveka! Hope you will have a great visit over Christmas – and lots of photos and interesting stories when you come back! Merry Christmas !

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