Tasting Notes

FOURty Seconds with Martin Sjöstrand

Just a short drive south of Malmö, you will find Hörte Brygga. A hidden gem serving local Sweden fare in innovative creations, all while enjoying a beautiful sea view. FOUR speaks to chef owner Martin Sjöstrand…

What/Who inspired you to become a chef?

I started cooking at home when I was about 10 years old and fell in love with it. So when I realised I could make it into a career when I was older, becoming a chef was a natural choice.


What is your culinary philosophy? 

Cooking doesn’t start in the kitchen for me – it starts in the forests and fields. Raw ingredients are the most important part of my cooking. My job as a chef is about finding the absolute best ingredients for our kitchen, ensuring they grow in the best possible conditions and picking them at the perfect time. As nature is unpredictable, we never know from day to day which vegetables will be ripe that day, whether the lamb we’ve prepared for slaughter is indeed ready, if the fisherman will catch something etc. So my job is to manage these raw materials in the best possible way. For this reason we can’t and don’t want to work to set menus involving weeks of testing – we improvise according to which ingredients we get. Therefore every meal with us is unique.


What does the ‘art of plating’ mean to you?

A plate should look natural and be pleasing to the eye.


Can you explain to us how the creative journey of your dishes begins?

It starts with Robban and I checking which ingredients we have for the day and then we bounce ideas off each other, testing out a few dishes and refining them until we’re both satisfied. We also involve the sommelier to get his input too. Our work is super creative and we make brand new dishes on a daily basis, depending on which ingredients we have at our disposal.


Do you have a particular dish/menu that was a favourite to create?

At the end of August we got okra, tomatoes, cucumber, chilli and garlic from one of our farmers and we made a delicious garlic cream with a lukewarm broth made from freshly squeezed tomato and cucumber juice with raw chilli and char grilled okra. I became obsessed with this dish!


What would you say has been the most memorable moment in your culinary career so far?

A definite highlight has been to open the Hörtebrygga kitchen table together with my wife Emma, ​​where we have full control, don’t need to worry about investors or other people who may be set in their old fashioned ways, so we can get up to whatever we want!


What is next for you and the restaurant?

To continue to develop the kitchen table.


Is there a dish of another chef that you feel is iconic and why?

I think that Magnus Nilsson’s (Fäviken) scallops dish is iconic. He shows in a masterful way how one can make an interesting and delicious dish using just one raw ingredient, demonstrating the versatility of this one ingredient. Ingenious.


What do you think is on the horizon for the future of the fining dining scene?

There seem to be more and more restaurants popping up which are backed by 40 million SEK start-up budgets, but I find the small restaurants with limited budgets and plenty of passion that grow organically very exciting and inspiring.

Who’s restaurant would you most like to eat at and why?

I haven’t been to Pascal Barbot’s restaurant L’Astrance in Paris yet, so that’s on my list.


Find out more about Hörte Brygga here…

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