Bjorn and Daniel
Interviewed November 2010
Bjorn and Daniel (pictured) are the joint head chefs of the two Michelin star restaurant that bears their names, situated in the pretty old town of Stockholm.
Q – How long have you been cooking professionally?
Daniel. Since 1998, my first job was with Magnus Ek at Oaxen Skärgårdskrog. Bjorn. I started in 1996 at Lords of the Manor with John Campbell.
Q – Where did you train to cook?
Daniel. After culinary school I worked at Michelin starred restaurants as well as some of the best bakeries and pastry shops in Sweden. Björn. After completing culinary school, I worked at several Michelin starred restaurants in Sweden, the UK as well as Paris.
Q – How would you describe your style of cooking?
Bjorn and Daniel. We are ingredient fetishists, actually quite classic in the base, but we’re always looking for unique twist and touch. A lot of inspiration comes from our gardens. We’ve tried to eliminate the use of a sauce as binding element. Our philosophy is that if you use the best ingredients and cook them to perfection there’s no need for a sauce.
Q – Is there a secret for a successful restaurant?
Bjorn and Daniel. Hard work, consistency and doing it your own way and finding your own style of cooking. Surrounding yourself with excellent staff.
Q – Do you have a “signature dish” or favourite dish you enjoy cooking?
Bjorn and Daniel. We would say we have three “signature dishes”: Our version of a French toast, the only dish that’s been on the menu since opening day February 1st, 2008. It is made of brioche, layered with creamed silver onions, then dipped into a pancake batter made of balsamico vinegar and truffle oil. After that we pan-fry them and serve them with Parmesan cream, shaved truffle and 100 year old balasamico vinegar. Our baguettes that are partially proved on the table in front of the guests, then taken back in to the kitchen where they are baked in our wood-fired oven. Our scallop cooked in its shell over open fire, served in two servings. Finally it’s ”Satio Tempestas” normally consisting of around 35 different ingredients from our gardens served with today's catch
Q – Do you have a favourite ingredient?
Bjorn and Daniel: Not really, the surprise each week when we receive our vegetables, herbs, berries and flowers from our gardens…
Which restaurant do you most enjoy eating at on your night off?
Bjorn and Daniel. In Stockholm we would say Rolfs Kök and for fine dining L’Astrance in Paris.
What is your most interesting or fun experience from your time in restaurants?
Bjorn and Daniel. We appreciate any restaurant who provide a lot of personality and soul into their restaurant/cooking.
What would be your “last request” dish?
Bjorn and Daniel. Toast Skagen for starter, which is a traditional Swedish toast with shrimps, red onions, mayonnaise, dill and bleak roe (Kalix löjrom) For main course grilled Kobe beef with garden tomato salad, triple cooked fries and sauce Bearnaise.
Is there another chef that you most admire?
Bjorn and Daniel. Alain Passard for his obsession with ingredients and his gardens.
Any advice you would give to someone wanting to become a chef?
Bjorn and Daniel. Work hard, observe and be patient.
Any final thoughts you’d like to add?