Tag: Magasin Göteborg

An otherwise unremarkable door in a workshop next to Gothenburg’s fishing harbour and auction market has attracted many elite chefs. Although they ensure that all the ingredients are lovingly prepared and refined, having the right plate is of the greatest importance. So thinks the 2019 Chef of the Year.

Photo: Samuel Unéus.

We shall begin at the beginning, starting down at the fishing dock. Due to the corona situation, we’ll skip the actual fish auction and move on to Västergården, where the plates are made on which Chef of the Year Martin Moses serves his creations at SK Mat & Människor.

Mia Martinius, the potter who makes more than one hundred plates and bowls every day in her own raw, personal style, has become something of a favourite among style-conscious chefs – not only in Gothenburg and Stockholm, but also as far afield as in Dubai!

She is self-taught, and she loves the pottery workshop and store that she runs together with her three children. Martin Moses has a stack of ceramic plates with him from the Michelin-starred restaurant in Gothenburg. He wonders whether Mia would be able to patch up the plates that have sustained minor damage from the various servings – and he wants the ‘camouflaging’ to be visible. In Japan, such blemishes are often covered with gold, in order to demonstrate the opposite of today’s disposable culture.

Many of those who visit Mia’s store have previously dined at SK Mat & Människor and been enchanted – not just by the food but also by the crockery on which it is served.

“The two things go together”, says Martin Moses. “Serving the right food on the right kind of plate makes all the difference. We eat with our eyes, that’s the way it is.”

In the Instagram age, it is not without importance to have photo-chic plates, or that each dish is served on its own style of plate. Martin and Mia discuss the use of different surfaces for different dishes or ingredients. The next day, the 2020 Dish of the Year is to be announced – a dish that the Chef of the Year gets to design, and that will hopefully become a new classic among the general public.

Standing 196 cm tall, it is difficult for Martin Moses to move around unnoticed in the pottery workshop. Sometimes he cannot resist the temptation to pass a heated plate to his diners, with hands that are accustomed to such heat. Office workers’ hands, however, get a bit of a shock, he says with a smile. So there’s a certain amount of mischief in him. But he is also surprisingly honest about the vulnerability experienced by chefs. Cooking involves sharing a part of yourself – exposing yourself to both praise and criticism.

Martin Moses almost bangs his head on the roof timber in the pottery workshop where he has signed his name. He has added his name to the signatures of other star chefs who use Mia’s plates and bowls.

“I have been really fortunate in that the chefs recommend me to others. I couldn’t wish for a better kind of advertisement”, laughs Mia, contentedly.

The fact that Sweden’s biggest fish auction, where fish wholesalers place bids on fish and shellfish, lies just next door is of course significant. It perhaps also helps that the door to the workshop and store is so anonymous – we take the wrong door, even though Martin has been here many times before.

After Martin has discussed the colours and surfaces that are the best match for his Dish of the Year (which will be crispy cod steaks, served with coarsely mashed white root vegetables, lemon-pickled vegetables and a frothy, creamy dill sauce), we move on to SK Mat & Människor. Evidence of the Michelin star is discreetly on show behind the ‘chef’s counter’. Here, curious diners can follow the craftsmanship of the chefs as they chop and sauté, and pass torches across the backs of freshly caught ocean crayfish.

Photo: Samuel Unéus.

The runner-up in the latest Chef of the Year competition was Martin Moses’ then colleague Ola Wallin, who is now head chef at Upper House Dining in Gothenburg. Either by some kind of magic or perhaps by simple mentorship, a special culture has been created at SK Mat & Människor. Stefan Karlsson, who owns the Götaplats Group of which SK Mat & Människor is part (together with Toso, Mr. P, Bar Himmel and at Park in Gothenburg), was named Chef of the Year back in 1995. He is now chair of the jury. Sweden’s Prince Carl Philip is among the other judges. When this year’s Young Chef of the Year was held, it was won by none other than 23-year-old Anton Kardell, who also works at SK Mat & Människor, with his dish of duck and pike-perch.

Fish and shellfish are particularly close to Martin’s heart. His grandmother in Karlskrona would often serve up meals of fried cod, in all its simplicity. Martin continues this tradition with his own children, although he serves it with stewed spinach. Once you’ve experienced Martin’s touch with fish and ocean crayfish, you are left wanting more. Every year, Martin Moses and his twin brother travel to Lofoten in order to go fishing, although that 50 kg Atlantic halibut has so far eluded them. They never talk about food, however – according to Martin’s brother, the sole purpose of food is to fill one’s stomach. Even so, it was his brother who, at an early stage, kick-started Martin’s competitive nature. They spent their childhoods competing in everything.

Achieving second place in the 2018 Chef of the Year contest was therefore hard for Martin Moses to accept. While on holiday after the competition, he was able to take a step back from his frustration of having ‘lost’ by such a small margin (just one point separated him from the winner), and it was then that he began to plan his entry for the next year. Encouraged by his wife, it was clear that he should seek revenge! The winning dish – ocean crayfish with buckwheat, spruce tips, and grated cured egg yolks – began to take shape in his head. And then came his idea for the dessert – a variation on the ice-cream sandwich, with white mould cheese, malt loaf and apple jelly.

“A normal person would probably have given up after having put in all that work only to lose by just one point. But I can never be satisfied – I know that there will always be a better way of doing things. And, with hindsight, it’s clear that it’s by facing these challenges that you learn new things about yourself. This is something that has made me stronger.”

Although SK Mat & Människor has been KRAV-certified for the past four years, this is not something that features heavily in the restaurant’s marketing.

“Quality is always the most important consideration, and this is our priority. The tastes and experiences we provide are the proof of our commitment and passion in our work, rather than the recognition from any labels or distinctions”, explains Martin. “Having children aged 4 and 7, you care about the state of the world and the effect our consumption has on it.”

According to Martin, the attention that chefs receive nowadays, with their increased public profile, enables them to act as trend-setters. This is something he himself is happy to do thanks to his sustainable approach to local produce, and by taking the bus to and from work each day.

“Sustainability and quality are inseparable from each other. Vegetables that are in season are the best you can get. We really look forward to the asparagus in the spring, and the first strawberries in June – this is when they’re at their very best.”

Martin Moses thinks that it should be possible to charge a little extra when, as during last summer for example, the carrots were extraordinarily sweet and tasty thanks to the warm weather – rather than paying more for organic produce imported from Spain.

Martin believes that Sweden – and Gothenburg, in particular – has a rich larder with ingredients of fabulous quality. He thinks that freshly caught fish and shellfish form an obvious part of Gothenburg’s own larder.

“If we run out of fish in the middle of serving lunch, we just need to make a phone call and we can get more straight away.”

When you work with food, it’s really important to be able to have confidence in your suppliers.

“I think we have found the producers that provide us with the very best. Taste these prawns, for example, that were fresh today”, says Martin as he hands over a plate. “Fresh and juicy – always with the same quality. You always know what you’re getting.”

He also highlights the access to exotic mushrooms, and being able to get newly harvested champignons every day from Östragärde Gård in Sätila.

“The champignons from there are amazing. They’re the size of tennis balls, and with a wonderful texture. Or the herbs from Stenungssund, and the cucumbers from Varberg.”

Almost all the producers Martin works with have their own farm stores, just like Mia who makes her own pots and sells them from her workshop, where customers can linger as long as they like and dream of composing their own culinary creations.

This article was originally published in Magasin Göteborg 2020. Read the whole magazine in Swedish here. Magasin Göteborg is published by the Trade and Industry Group at Göteborg & Co and Business Region Göteborg. The theme of Magasin Göteborg 2020 is ”Sustainable growth – for everyone”.

Text by Ulrica Segersten. Translation by Språkservice. Photos by Samuel Unéus.

We were already doing this in the eleventh century – farming carp on land in combination with growing vegetables. “There’s not really anything new or nerdy about what we’re doing in Floda”, say Matts Johansson and Karin Forsberg from Garveriet.

When the food entrepreneur Matts Johansson first began roasting his own coffee and serving sourdough bread 25 years ago, he experienced several ‘Aha!’ moments with regard to what sustainable food production actually involves.

“From a sustainability perspective, fair and environmentally friendly coffee cultivation is not enough – not if it involves the planned economy. The quality aspect and social sustainability – i.e. that the economic model also works – are also necessary preconditions”, says Matts.

“I think we need to be prepared to pay 10 times as much for our coffee if we are to help coffee production to be both organic and financially viable in the long term.”

Matts needed to understand for himself what the sustainable production of coffee and food really involves, and how this can be communicated without slipping into pedestrian or clichéd sales arguments. Over the years, he has seen how many farmers and cultivators have had to struggle – not least those who try to do things the right way.

“We have many strange expectations of our food: what it should look like, what it should cost, and how it impacts the soil in which it grows. Ideally, we would like to have small dairies producing local cheeses, and small-scale meat farms. But it has become quite clear that much of our knowledge of cultivation, meat cutting and small-scale dairy production is being lost – there is a lack of knowledge-management. At Jernbruket, where we have a local slaughterhouse and the meat is cut (none of the animal is wasted), we need to import the necessary skills and knowledge from Poland and Ukraine.

Matts Johansson is stubborn. Having met with South American coffee growers, local farmers and artisan food producers, who are all struggling to swim against the tide at the same time as there is more and more talk about sustainable production, it is clear that there is a failing somewhere in the system.

“I became really interested in this systemic failure – such as consumers demanding organic tomatoes but not caring that they are imported from Spain. Just 10-20% of our vegetables are produced in Sweden. This is something that will eventually become more apparent when we are no longer able to import vegetables from southern Europe, as a consequence of the coronavirus.”

With regard to vegetables, our level of self-sufficiency is extremely low. As part of its food strategy, the Swedish government has taken the decision to increase small-scale food production. There is, however, a big difference between words on a piece of paper and reality; procurement rules are one thing, but a local lamb producer, whose sheep spend their time grazing outdoors so that they do not need antibiotics, must also be able to support themselves.

“When did you last see a live pig?” Matts Johansson runs his fingers through his greying red beard.

Karin Forsberg finds it strange that, as a mother of three children, she knew so little about the food they were eating at home – that is, until she met Matts.

“I think we have a very blinkered view, and place a huge amount of faith in supermarkets and the state. Do you know how much time a Swedish calf gets to spend with his mother? Two hours!”

“Our cows spend a year in grazing pastures before they are slaughtered”, adds Matts. “There’s a mini-revolution taking place in how we view our food.” Sustainability in how we interact and eat must not be allowed to be a large wet blanket that is draped across people’s lives. According to Matts, we have to begin with the small things. It is easy to lose enthusiasm if we don’t have an in-depth understanding of what we are actually trying to achieve. Both Matts and Karin believe that so-called ‘nudging’ (giving people a gentle push to help them make more sustainable decisions) is the best way to change consumer behaviour.

One example of using nudging to raise awareness is Garveriet’s own courses in sourdough baking, which are held for children and adults.

We need to understand where the flour comes from, and that the way in which we grow our wheat can represent a risk both to nutrient levels and to the very soil in which our food is grown.

As Matts explains, “Monoculture requires the addition of artificial fertilisers and nitrogen, as well as spraying. Around 70 years ago, we chose cereal crops that were best suited to the local area; 20-40 farmers would then take their grain, which had different genetic traits, to the village mill. Each farmer would then leave some of their own seed variety behind. In this way, we developed resistant varieties by a process of natural selection. Monoculture, on the other hand, makes us vulnerable.”

“We need to return to some form of crop rotation. Even cattle can help to rescue our climate, as their grazing disturbs the soil, which is extremely important for bacterial flora and the creation of beneficial conditions for the ecosystems in the soil – the basis of all life. Without worms, the cultivatable layer of soil will become thinner and thinner. Once we’re down to a thickness of 12 cm, we’ll have passed the point of no return”, explains Karin. “The cultivation of oranges in USA, Spain and Portugal has already created so-called salted earth.”

It is not only with regard to vegetables that our self-sufficiency is low. Of the 12 kg of fish that the average Swede eats in one year, 6% comes from Swedish-farmed fish. We import 74% of the fish we eat, and this is mainly from fisheries that are more or less unsustainable. In fish farming on land, which combines vegetable cultivation in a circular system, the farmed fish provide nutrients for the vegetables, and vegetable waste returns nutrients back to the plant-eating fish. The roots of the plants also oxygenate the water.

“What we are doing with Pond Fish & Greens here at Floda is utilising old knowledge. We were already farming carp in combination with growing vegetables back in the Viking Age. And land-farmed fish in combination with rice cultivation has being performed in Asia for a very long time”, explains Matts.

According to Matts, there are great benefits to be gained. The seas must have the chance to recover, and we know that land-farmed fish do not contain any antibiotics or other toxins. It also eliminates the need for transportation, and the fish can be cooked when still fresh. Because they are not predatory, the clarias catfish, which are farmed in large tanks at Garveriet, are well-suited for land-farming.

“It’s clear that sustainability efforts in food production have barely begun. We have realised that we must take a different approach, but we haven’t really decided quite how, and we have certainly not yet begun to take action – apart from the small steps we are taking here in Floda”, says Karin.

“We all have a responsibility to gain as much knowledge as possible. With Garveriet – both the restaurant and the bakery, together with our meetings – we aim to become a forum for knowledge and produce more Aha! moments with regard to sustainability.”

Business models often often lag behind, according to Matts.

“We would love to be able to openly share our knowledge of how we can progress with the business models. Our goal for the future is that Garveriet shall have increased links with research, becoming a centre for sustainability where new solutions for problems can be developed and discussed.”

Having spent a long time checking out various fish stores, and having realised that much of what is being sold is not sustainable, Matts Johansson has taken action and opened a sustainable fish store in Floda. As he says, there’s a mini-revolution taking place.

This article was originally published in Magasin Göteborg 2020. Read the whole magazine in Swedish here. Magasin Göteborg is published by the Trade and Industry Group at Göteborg & Co and Business Region Göteborg. The theme of Magasin Göteborg 2020 is ”Sustainable growth – for everyone”.

Text by Ulrica Segersten. Translation by Språkservice. Photos by Samuel Unéus.

The latest issue of Magasin Göteborg was distributed as a supplement of Dagens Industri newspaper on 15 May. The supplement focuses on innovative and modern aspects of Gothenburg as well as the latest news and trends from the city. “Caring intelligence” is the main theme of this year’s Magasin Göteborg.

Magasin Göteborg Photo: Katja Ragnstam

“A lot is going on in Gothenburg right now. New ideas are hatching, opportunities are everywhere and there’s a lot of interest in the city. More and more people are discovering Gothenburg as an attractive city to work in, live in and visit. A foreign journalist recently described Gothenburg as a ‘pocket-sized metropolis’. That’s quite an accurate description of this city and region which we’re so fond of,” says Lennart Johansson, Director of the Trade & Industry Group at Göteborg & Co.

The theme of this year’s issue of Magasin Göteborg is “Caring intelligence”. Artificial intelligence and urban development require an understanding of smart new ways of living and working, but it’s also crucial to use these resources carefully to allow as many people as possible to enjoy all the things that make Gothenburg so attractive. Topics covered in the magazine include use of 3-D printing technology to create human body parts, how Gothenburg landed a Nobel prize, this summer’s choral invasion and the six companies to watch right now. You can also read about how a man from Borås helped to design Dubai, discover the street fashion from Gothenburg that’s conquering the world and find out about this year’s exciting new development at Landvetter airport.

The Magasin Gothenburg supplement is published in collaboration with Göteborg & Co’s Trade & Industry Group and Business Region Göteborg. Magasin Göteborg is being distributed in Gothenburg for the eighth consecutive year, and is one the Dagens Industri newspaper’s most popular supplements.

Read Magasin Göteborg online here and give us your feedback at #magasinGBG

 

Magasin Göteborg was distributed for the seventh time in a row as a supplement to the trade journal Dagens Industri on the 16th of May 2018. The magazine reached about 210,000 readers this year and has had very good results in the reading survey. It is one of Dagens Industri’s most read supplements.

“Stories from the City with Attitude” was the theme of this year’s magazine. Brave and innovative entrepreneurs, researchers and innovators who truly believe in their project and in their city are lifted in the magazine, showing the diversity of companies located in Gothenburg and its region.

A reading survey based on 300 interviews with different age groups shows that Magasin Göteborg has a long reading time, over nine minutes, evenly distributed throughout the magazine. It is a popular product with satisfied readers who appreciate the news value. This year, the magazine has also reached a younger group up to 34 years. Compared with similar products, the reading value is high for Magasin Göteborg, which is still one of Dagens Industri’s most read supplements.

Read Magasin Göteborg online here (in Swedish only) and give us your feedback at #magasinGBG

Magasin Göteborg 2018

Magasin Göteborg was distributed as a supplement to the trade journal Dagens Industri on the 16th of May 2018. The theme for this year is “Stories from the city with attitude” and how this idea is expressed in Gothenburg. The magazine is published on behalf of Business Region Göteborg and the Trade & Industry Group at Göteborg & Co.

Attitude and the will to succeed are vital elements in the city’s development. This year, Magasin Göteborg turns the spotlight on entrepreneurs, scientists and innovators who truly believe in their projects and their city. What do Gothenburg companies see as the keys to export success? How could a quantum computer help to develop self-driving cars? Which are the hottest companies to watch in the city right now?

You can also read about the importance of artificial intelligence to Stena Line, big projects that are being planned for Gothenburg’s 400 years anniversary in 2021, about the queen of entertainment, Cissi Stenborg, and much more.

The purpose of Magasin Göteborg is to showcase all the innovative people and the diversity of companies and events in the region, which together make Gothenburg an even more attractive city to work in, live in and visit.

Read Magasin Göteborg online here (in Swedish only) and give us your feedback at #magasinGBG

Magasin Göteborg 2018