FOURty Seconds with Niklas Ekstedt

18 Jun 2015
2 min read
With the largest Scandinavian midsummer festival lined up for this weekend, FOUR catches up with Michelin star guest chef, Niklas Ekstedt, ahead of the event to see what highlights are in store.

Tell us about the Scandinavian Midsummer feast and what it means to you…

In Sweden the Midsummer Feast is the equivalent to Christmas in the UK or Thanksgiving in the United States. It’s an ancient celebration that came about before there was even Christianity in my country. It’s a time when families gather together, my young boys are not happy that I’m going to be missing it this year.

Are you taking your team with you to cook for the Scandinavian feast?

No, I’m leaving everyone but my Ekstedt restaurant manager Niklas Löfgren back in Stockholm. As I mentioned the feast on midsummer’s eve is something no-one wants to miss.

What can guests expect on June 20th/21st at the feast?

On the Saturday 20 June, the guests can expect a food demonstration from me and a single plate of the fire cooked food. The ingredients for which will be pulled straight from the fire and assembled in front of all of them. We will have to work quick!

Have you decided on the menu?

Not yet but I’m keen to cook some fish.

What excites you about Scandinavian food culture right now?

I’m particularly excited by the interest in Scandinavian cooking internationally and it’s great to have opportunities like the one the British are offering me. But to get to the heart of your question, I find the use of Baltic fish and fresh water fish is particularly exciting right now. The fermentation and pickling of fish is a keen love of mine and others in the Scandinavian gastronomy world.

Where are the ingredients being sourced from for the feast?

From the UK! They’re in season and will be perfectly fresh. The fabulously resourceful organizer Scandinavian Feast founder Chloe Avery will be sourcing all the ingredients and I will bring with me the branches of juniper wood that I particularly like to use to cook the fish on.

What do you gain as a chef from collaborations such as this one?

I get to show people who I am, how I work and how it’s possible to cook contemporary food using wood flames, cast iron and imagination. I also get to meet other Scandinavian chefs and aficionados. Plus we’ll be in the beautiful English countryside. I will never have had a Midsummer like this!

Do you have any future collaboration’s lined-up with other chefs or events?

Yes, I’m off to cook a banquet at the Wilderness Festival in August

Find out more about the Scandifeast here |