A chat with Swedish chef Frida Ronge
Frida Ronge is an acclaimed chef from Gothenburg, Sweden, who has received various awards such as the prestigious “Rising Star of the Year” in White Guide and Karin Franssons mentor award in “Chef of the year” competition. She also won silver in the world championship in “Seven Sushi Samurai” in London and is known for her Swedish/Japanese influenced food. In 2013 she also wrote her first cookbook.
We are very happy she’s taken some time off her busy schedule to chat with Nordique!
How did one with such a great career start out?
I started directly to work after senior high school. And I put a lot of focus in to work and food. I've always loved my work and I think that's the key to success.
Your signature style is Japanese influenced Swedish food. What’s the background to this?
I have always been a fan of fish maybe because my dad has a fish store so we ate a lot of fish when I was I child. I also prefer "fresh" food, with less fat and with umami flavors and it's a lot of that in the Japanese cuisine.
You’re a culinary director at Tak restaurant. What does that entail?
It means that I'm responsible for the food and the concept at the restaurant. I'm the creative leader of Tak.
I do the menus, the design of porcelain and ceramics, colors in the restaurants, I do a lot of collaborations with farmers, brewery's, and hand craft men's and women's. For me it's super important to involve our partners in the business and have a close communication with the professionals. The food future and sustainability is very important for us.
I’m also responsible for ”the next step" for Tak : making pop ups, guest dinners and all media. But of course I’ve got a lovely professional team who helps me out with all the ideas :)
What’s your most memorable journey as a chef?
I think it's every day of work. Day to day can be very interesting and you will never get full of learning. To work as a chef today is more than just cooking in the kitchen, as a chef today are you responsible for trends and sustainability. My job right now is more than just cooking, it's also to look in to the future and make food and restaurants better.
What makes the Swedish food culture stand out?
We have fantastic seafood in the Nordic countries because of the water, it’s easier to cook with good ingredients. We are also ahead of taking care of ingredients that look different in a way but the flavors are perfect. Also that restaurants working more seasonal to get the best products and flavors..
Is there anything we should include/exclude in our diet to improve our health?
To eat less red meat and focus more on vegetables. I mean that we still can eat meat but start to eat less weight of it and add ingredients on the side. Also to eat more seaweed in salads, smoothies and in food generally.
Are there any foods you would never try?
I'm very open minded to try food and different food cultures but I don't prefer to eat intestines and endangered animals.
What’s the most challenging thing about your job?
To make the perfect service in kitchen and in the front of house for the best flow in all ways possible. And never stop to develop the business ahead and be open minded for new ideas every day.
What’s the best thing with being Swedish?
We have good education, health care and social security, but also honored for having Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Abba and midsummer celebrations :)
What are your favorite local spots?
In Stockholm; Matbaren at Grand hotel, Tjoget in Hornstull, Sturehof in the city center.