Swedish chef-patron, TV-presenter and best-selling cookery book author Niklas Ekstedt shows astonishing creativity, producing elegant food using long-lost Swedish cooking techniques and burning wood as his only source of heat. Precisely the opposite of molecular, modernist or futuristic gastronomy, the extraordinary restaurant experience delivered by his team, was rewarded in April 2013 when EKSTEDT was given its first Michelin star. Ekstedt opened his first award winning fine dining restaurant in Helsingborg, in southern Sweden at 21. Today, he owns two restaurants in Stockholm, ‘Niklas’ and EKSTEDT. He is currently working on his TV series Niklas MAT, which sees him travel the world meeting chefs and discovering more about their cooking.
If you could close your eyes and be somewhere else, where would you want to be?
With my wife and two sons out at our summer house in the Archipelego, just outside of Stockholm. In the warmer months, I take my sons out fishing on the lake and show them how to cook over the open fire pit outside and in the Winter, when the snow outside is very thick, we huddle inside and keep warm besides the stove whilst I cook for everyone.
The restaurant where you feel at home
My restaurant Ekstedt!
A hotel room that makes you nostalgic
Ett Hem Hotel, Stockholm -There are only about 12 rooms in this Stockholm hotel so it has an amazingly personal, warm service, though of course this means it is a little on the pricey side. I love the arts and crafts design of the building, which has been turned from a large house into a beautiful boutique hotel by the London-based designer Ilse Crawford.
A travel you could do over and over again without getting bored
Skiing in Åre with my family.
A dish that recently surprised you
A few months ago I was in Mexico City for my Tv show and worked as a stagier at restaurant Pujol. But what surprised me was the fantastic street food in the city. Meny things I never experienced before.
A holiday place from your childhood
Buustamons Fjällgård, Åre-Buustamons is a ski resort up in the mountains in Åre. My family always used to go and stay there when I was a little kid when it was really just a cheap, family hostel. Recently they refitted the whole place so it is now a very stylish, charming hotel with an excellent restaurant and its own vodka distillery, one of Sweden’s smallest in fact. It is very remote so you have to reach by snow-mobile.
If a kid asked you to take him/her on a trip, where would that be?
London. There is so much to see and do for kids there. So much history, incredible museums and galleries to visit and great skate-parks. There is so much fun to be had. I’m really looking forward to taking my two boys.
If you could choose a dream place to celebrate, what would that be?
The Swedish Archipelago. Our manager at Ekstedt got married on one of the islands a few years ago and it was absolutely magical.
A view you will never forget
The view from the top of the mountains in the Swiss alps where I have spent a lot of my free time the last years.
Your Meraviglia address that can’t be missing from our collection
I guess I can say the ICEHOTEL in Jukkasjärvi. It is one of the most unique places in the Nordics.
A place you wish it was just round the corner
Restaurant Etxebarri in San Sebastian.
Cover Photo Niklas Ekstedt © Simon Bajada – Ekstedt kitchen tools by PA Jorgensen