Swedish Chef Mathias Dahlgren is in a class of his own when it comes to cooking. Dahlgren won the uber-prestigious Bocuse d’Or culinary competition in 1997, and since has opened the two Michelin-starred Matsalen and Matbaren in the Grand Hotel in Stockholm.
A leader of the new Nordic cuisine movement, Dahlgren is a leader in his field and poignantly philosophical when talking about his cooking. Here are 5 great take-aways from his recent demonstration at the Institute of Culinary Education.
* The most essential thing about cooking is the produce, the raw ingredient.
* Copying others’ cooking isn’t bad, it’s a way to learn and become accepted in the culinary community.
* Cooking requires a dialogue between chefs and producers.
* Try not to look at ingredients as before but through a child’s eye. Think: What can this be? What can I use this for?
* Try to be open when cooking, follow the process of the produce – each food is unique.
The lucky attendees of Dahlgren’s demo got to see his creative thinking in practice. An iced tea was not simply a beverage, but a deconstruction of an iced mint tea with honey and lemon.
Dahlgren strives to use local and seasonal ingredients, which resulted in a Sea Buckthorn and Juniper Berry Iced Tea with local honey. The drink was refreshing and delicious and incredibly original. The sea buckthorn component was a dollop of sorbet inside the liquid, and it had the acidity of lemon but the flavor of passion fruit and mango.
For more on this inspirational chef out Chef Mathias Dahlgren’s interview with Food Republic Editor-in-Chief Lisa McLaughlin.