Niklas Ekstedt on ‘Stone Age’ Technology and His New London Project

Still, food and scholarship are inextricably linked, and out-of-date record is still technology. Kitchen scholarship isn’t always full of modern, high-tech gadgets, and investigation doesn’t always need a lab. At Ekstedt, a scholarship is in a nation techniques: how can we control a elementary glow to emanate a ideal dish? How can we get arguable formula from a “stone age microwave” when a rest of a universe is regulating computerized convection ovens? How can your complicated grill attain with a kitchen though electricity? Ekstedt’s investigate comes from a Scandinavian culinary history, and his investigation comes from personification with fire.

Ekstedt visited a US final week to assistance examination a final projects of Harvard architectural connoisseur students, whose studio, Alimentary Design, uses food to take a conflicting viewpoint on architecture. After a day of reviewing projects and cooking hay-wrapped sea drum on a bonfire outward of a school, Ekstedt spoke with Eater about his use of record (or miss thereof) in a kitchen, a past and destiny of Scandinavian cuisine, and a destiny of a grill industry. He was assimilated by Jan Åman of Atelier Food, partial of a Stockholm-based “research, change and communication studio” called Atelierslice that works in a realms of food and more. Åman was concerned with coordinating a partnership among a Harvard studio, Ekstedt, and others.

Back in April, you spoke with Eater about how we built a kitchen during Ekstedt like a Scandinavian kitchen “would have looked 200 years ago.”
Niklas Ekstedt: Well, not a design of a kitchen though some-more a techniques. And afterwards of march we had to adjust those techniques to a complicated kitchen. So it’s not a museum.

You recently built a “stone age microwave.” What does that mean?
NE: The mill age x-ray is a code new invention in a restaurant. It’s customarily a potion box; it’s customarily like an oven though anything in it. We can supplement feverishness to it from a pipe, that comes into a box from a smoker; we can umpire a volume of smoke. We can also put a small bit of coal into a bottom of a oven. It lets us prepare during a small bit reduce of a temperature, around 140, 160 degrees Celsius (about 280-320 Fahrenheit). The problem we had before was that a open glow was so hot, or a timber oven was so warm, so we didn’t unequivocally have anything in between. So now we can prepare during a small reduce temperature.

Does it ambience like something that has been baked in a unchanging smoker?
NE: No, it’s like an oven with a small bit of smoke. The whole suspicion with it is to be means to prepare like in a timber oven, though not that hot.

Jan Åman: we had this review after going to Ekstedt. This is not high tech in a clarity of lab technology, though it’s record that’s so driven that we get a unequivocally special kind of food. we consider it’s unequivocally implausible that by these boundary of technology, we get a aloft spin of gastronomy than in any other place in Sweden. we mean, maybe there are as good chefs, though by carrying these boundary in terms of how we can cook, we indeed get a unequivocally special flavor.

NE: Also, a new Nordic food has been carrying a unequivocally tough time anticipating itself technique-wise. we mean, a products — they are good. And now a old, good restaurants in Scandinavia, a high-end restaurants, use internal extraordinary products. But a destiny will be: how technically will we prepare them? In what proceed will we prepare them? And that, we think, will unequivocally make a outrageous difference.

New Nordic food has been carrying a unequivocally tough time anticipating itself technique-wise.

JA: In that sense, if we demeanour generally during art, we have Marcel Duchamp in a commencement of a twentieth century, we have Warhol, a few others, redefining art not from a intent itself though from how we can understand art. Technology. What element we work with. And we consider that’s what’s function here as well, and we consider that’s indeed a together to what we’re doing during Harvard. Not to plead what’s customarily on a image though how it comes there. What produces a structure, how a structure like that indeed produces a food.

In terms of a unequivocally petrify example, Ekstedt. You have a arrange of singular record that creates a chefs some-more creative, let’s say. Otherwise, it’s like any other Cubist portrayal that we had during a spin of a century, or any other arrange of art object, or any other high-end cuisine dish. we mean, we can go to roughly any grill in a world, and it’s like going to McDonald’s, though it’s high-end cuisine. That’s a change that we finished during Ekstedt: no, it’s not any other high-end cuisine. It’s indeed driven by a kitchen though electricity. And that creates all a disproportion in a world.

NE: Yeah, we consider in terms of food, a lot of high-end restaurants are so modernized now, and all a super techniques and super machines that are finished and marketed for a high-end restaurants are for perfectionists. One appurtenance mixes 3 thousands spins per second to make a powder. You have a convection oven; we mean, we don’t even know how to use one. They’re so high-tech. They have computers, recipes. You have Roners, evaporators. Tons of this apparatus that a lot of chefs are disposition on can be really, unequivocally dangerous since afterwards in a finish we forget how to prepare and customarily rest on a technique.

You’ve finished internships during places like elBulli, The Fat Duck…places where that kind of cooking is a norm. What finished we confirm to go in probably a conflicting instruction technology-wise?
NE: Well, when we was going to open Ekstedt, we knew that we was going to get a discerning response, and we was going to get a lot of food critics to come and eat during a restaurant, since I’m a famous name in Sweden. we unequivocally wanted to warn them, and we unequivocally wanted to do something totally conflicting than they had gifted before. The conduct prepare of Ekstedt, Gustav Otterberg, who was with me from day one — we hired him for a plan since he’s a chairman who knows outside cooking, and he knew many some-more than we know about how to prepare in a wild. we hired him before we bought a grill [laughs] since we knew that he would be super critical for a project.

Nordic food though with a Nordic techniques. It creates sense, no?

When he was on board, we financed a grill by financiers and bought a location. And afterwards we customarily sat down and we said, well, we wish to do a Nordic kitchen, and that was a whole suspicion — to warn and to do a Nordic kitchen, Nordic food, since we suspicion it would be so sparkling to prepare Nordic food though with a Nordic techniques. It creates sense, no? [Laughs.]

Are other people starting to follow suit?
NE: We see it occur everywhere. There are people following and doing. When you’re doing something that gets a lot of attention, it’s firm to happen, and we consider it’ll be good if people duplicate us and try to prepare like us, since it’s a good proceed of cooking, and there are no secrets. We’re a totally open kitchen. If we wish to prepare this way, put adult a fire, put a expel iron vessel in a fire, and customarily cook, we know? It’s not a unequivocally tough proceed of cooking, though we unequivocally need to be focused, and we need to be cooking. You can’t put it in a convection oven and put a mechanism on and go down and have a crater of coffee. You need to be on a stove constantly.

[Photo: Ekstedt]

In April, we mentioned that there were a lot of cookbooks accessible from a 1700s and 1800s, so those cooking techniques were created down, accessible to you. How did we proceed training about how to prepare over an open fire? Did a books contend what kind of woods to use, things like that?
NE: There are of march recipes in those books, though they’re not unequivocally contemporary during all, and we can’t unequivocally use them since we wish a grill to be one of a best restaurants in a country, one of a many engaging restaurants in a world, though we’re competing with these restaurants that have all — they even have labs! We have a man chopping timber in a garage. We’re so many some-more nation than a other ones. So when we looked during a aged books and a aged recipes, it was some-more what people were regulating technically, like how did a glow array look, what did a expel iron stove demeanour like, did they use strings, did they use rotisseries? So it was some-more a technical research.

When cooking over a fire, do we have many control over a heat?
NE: With a expel iron, yeah. With a pan. Actually, we use a laser thermometer in a pan. We put a vessel in a fire, and afterwards we can magnitude a feverishness with a laser beam. It’s kind of high-end.

So, do we have any other things in a kitchen that are a small bit high-end?
NE: No, customarily a thermometer.

And we have no electricity aside from a compulsory ventilation?
NE: And in a refrigerator.

Walk me by a credentials of a image during Ekstedt. How would it differ from a prep in a kitchen with some-more high-end technology?
NE: For mise en place, we have a large glow in a glow pit, a large expel iron vessel over a fire, a box on tip of a smoker so we can have piece trays in there. Let’s contend if we make tomatoes, we fume them over a fibre in a chimney, and afterwards we boil a sauce, shortening it over a glow in a large pan. Then during use we kind of change a glow pit, so we take divided a large pan, open a smaller glow where we re-heat a things from a mise en place, customarily fast reheat it with expel iron in a fire. Then, if we use meat, for example, we customarily give it tone in a fire, finish it off in a timber oven, and afterwards arrange everything.

You mentioned progressing that we consider your cooking could work good here in Boston; a products and timber that we used to prepare during Harvard yesterday were identical to what you’d get during home. Are there any other cities that could be a good fit for you?

I’m indeed looking into it as we speak, to open something in London.

NE: London is unequivocally my array one choice. I’m indeed looking into it as we speak, to open something in London. But we haven’t found a plcae and we haven’t found a internal partner yet.

Any other changes or things in a works?
NE: The conduct prepare Gustav, we took him out of service, and he’s customarily operative with techniques. He’s totally technically driven, so each day he works on changing and enlightening and creation a techniques better. This summer we will reconstruct a whole kitchen, since we will have worked for 3 years, and so we’ve of march put down loads of records on how to make all these techniques different. We’re going to keep all a good elements, though we’re going to put a kitchen even offer into a dining room so that a glow array comes closer to a client. we consider a stretch between a glow array and a guest is one of a biggest advantages during a restaurant, that you’re so tighten to a stove, and while it’s high-end excellent dining cuisine, it’s not that plated. We customarily work with 3 to 4 equipment during a time on a plate.

It’ll be sparkling to see how a Nordic kitchen will locate adult in a future. I’m unequivocally looking brazen to saying someone do it a proceed that French high-end cuisine was introduced in a US around a 1970s and 80s. Then those good chefs starting creation easier restaurants and bistros and brasseries, and we would adore to see that occur with Nordic food in a US. A lot of a high-end Scandinavian restaurants in New York, for example, they’re unequivocally worldly — a small pretended — and we would adore to see someone cooking Scandinavian food during a some-more bottom level, not customarily perplexing to duplicate a high-end restaurants in Scandinavia.

[Photo: Ekstedt]

Outside of New York, I’m not certain how prevalent Scandinavian food is in a US. we don’t consider we have Scandinavian food in Boston during all.
NE: No, we don’t consider so — maybe I’ll have to change that.

How would we report it to a chairman who has never had it?

The French call Scandinavians a Japanese of Europe.

NE: First of all, it’s simplicity. The French call Scandinavians a Japanese of Europe. Take off a boots when we go into a house, make all a small neater. So we can unequivocally tell that in a food as well. It’s customarily usually 3 to 4 things. Acidity and a lot of product, a unequivocally purify product, a purify palate. Not a lot of flavor, not a lot of spices. So it’s elementary food, unequivocally product-driven.

With such product-driven cuisine, does Sweden have a large farm-to-table movement?
NE: we consider so, though we consider that’s a biggest myth of Scandinavian food and a new Nordic food. A lot of South European chefs, a lot of American chefs, consider that it’s a geography-related — locally farmed, locally constructed food — that that’s a Scandinavian movement. But it’s not unequivocally that.

When we grew adult in a 80s and 90s, when we went to culinary school, all that was French and Italian and Spanish was good. Everything that was Nordic was bad. We did not see ourselves as a good nation of food. We saw ourselves as cooks, good cooks. But we didn’t use a birthright or a possess cuisine in a restaurants. We did it during home, though we didn’t offer it to guest or clients. But what happened in a late 90s and a commencement of a century was that a lot of a immature Scandinavian chefs started to use products from Scandinavia, so they kind of flipped a map. Instead of doing foie gras, truffles, tomatoes, olive oil, they started regulating reindeer, herring, berries, internal oil. And it wasn’t about a farm-to-table movement. It was something totally different. It was about looking behind to a culinary story and looking to see what products we could use instead of regulating Southern European products.

JA: The reason we invited Niklas to come be partial of this final examination during Harvard is of march for a cooking and all — though also, a cooking is put in this wider context, a incomparable perspective. We’re going to do a arrange of investigate or convention array on either a grill business is unequivocally a destiny business, in terms of how we make that into a improved sourroundings to work in. we consider that that’s unequivocally what struck me with Niklas and a discussions we had yesterday during Harvard — a suspicion of a kitchen, a suspicion of a food is put into a contention of many some-more than that, that we consider is required to be unequivocally creative. we consider that’s unequivocally since things are function during Ekstedt as good — since it’s not customarily a cooking itself. It’s a cooking and a propinquity to other things. For instance, if Nordic food is engaging since Nordic food is just, like, regulating reindeer, it becomes kind of boring.

NE: That’s another super engaging aspect to it. How can we use a Scandinavian indication to make a grill business some-more sparkling to stay? The problem that we have in this business, and roughly everywhere that we go, is that a lot of immature people are in a courtesy and a business, though when they get a small comparison and when they start carrying a family, a lot of them leave. we consider if we’re going to make this courtesy and restaurants unequivocally tolerable for a future, this will be a biggest challenge. And we consider there are a lot of things that we’re doing in Sweden right now that could make it many improved for a lot of employees all over a universe in a grill business, in terms of operative hours and in terms of how to demeanour during a grill business’ future.

— Rachel Leah Blumenthal
· Ekstedt [Official Site]
· All Ekstedt Coverage on Eater [-EN-]

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