Thu. May 26th, 2022

Swedish chef Niklas Ekstedt became famous in 2003 with his TV cooking show Mat – food in Swedish – but is now better known for his self-proclaimed Stockholm restaurant, which opened in 2011 and avoided gas and electricity for more primitive cooking methods. Speaking last month’s The Restaurant Show chef discussed why, 10 years later, he has brought his fiery cooking style to London.

You just opened Ekstedt at The Yard in London. Explain the reason behind this.

I have always loved London and I see England as my second home. As a kid, my dad had a job in East Sussex, so we lived in England for a couple of years, and I fell in love with it. The first big city I have ever visited was London, so it has always been a very nostalgic place for me. I have always wanted to open in London so I could come and visit the city as much as possible. England and Sweden are very similar – we do not lean on a fantastic gastronomic history, and we are both open to different styles in restaurants, new varieties and cultures. This makes London a very vibrant and interesting city to hang out and eat in.

Was it hard to find a place for the restaurant?

It was very challenging to find a place where I could do my extraction and work on my cooking – and then came the pandemic. But there have been so many new inventions that now make it an incredibly easy work environment. We have a filter that is added to the exhaust system that takes the smoke and turns it into a water mist so you can wash it out – it runs out into the sewers. It is much better than 10 years ago when I started and there were so many complications and difficulties.

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