Inside Niklas Ekstedt’s Kitchen

17th September 2015

Words: Killian Fox
Photos: Yousef Eldin

The Stockholm-based chef on his knife collection, the tools you’ll need for cooking with fire and an ingredient you’ll find in every Swedish household


Wild onions
“We go out picking wild onions with the kids in the nearby forest and pickle them in early spring. It’s really good because nobody in this neighbourhood bothers going out picking flowers, berries, onions and stuff, so we have it all to ourselves. We go out all the time. Right now we have some small chanterelles coming up, and elderflower, and then later in the season it’s berries of all kinds.” – Niklas

Winborgs Ättiksprit »
“You’ll find this in every Swedish household. It’s like a vinegar for pickling things. We use it a lot.”

Fish sauce »
“It’s not very Swedish but I use fish sauce a lot in my cooking.”

Pickled rhubarb
In one corner of his kitchen, Niklas has a cluster of jars filled with pickles, including kimchee, chillies and rhubarb, which he pickles very simply with sugar and has with fish. “It’s quite strong. The kids hate it – they just spit it out – but I really like it.”


Filleting knife »
Niklas takes some knives off the magnetic knife rack on his kitchen wall and talks us through their uses. “This I use to chop up meat, this is for filleting salmon, this is for butchering and cutting. This is more for onions. This is an oyster opener, and this is, like, for photo opportunities…” – Niklas

Blowtorch »
We ask what objects are indispensible when you’re cooking with fire. “In terms of tools? It’s not that important. A good blowtorch is pretty cool to start off your fire, then you need a little bit of patience. And then probably a good thick stick or something that you can prod around with. You can cook in all kinds of places: everywhere from a grill to a barbeque to a hole in the ground – anything can work.”


Bar Tartine: Techniques and Recipes, Cortney Burns, Nick Balla »
Innovative cookbook from the much-admired San Francisco restaurant of the same name. “I love this book, the way that they mix Hungarian and Japanese cuisine. It’s fusion in a great way. In Europe we don’t really blend food cultures like they do in this book. I find it interesting to think how a Scandinavian version of this might look – blending other cuisines into Scandinavian cooking.” – Niklas

Relae: A Book of Ideas, Christian Puglisi »
Puglisi runs three great restaurants in Copenhagen – Relae, Baest and Manfreds – and used to be the sous chef at Noma. “I like the way this book is laid out. He tells you how he came up with each dish, and as a chef it’s fun to read about that. The recipes are really smart.”

Salt, Socker och Vinäger, Olle T Cellton »
“This is by the chef from Babette [see Address Book]. I like his pickling recipes. The cover is so silly: it says Salt, Sugar and Vinegar and there’s no salt, sugar or vinegar, just pates – I love him for that.”

Where Chefs Eat: A Guide to Chefs’ Favourite Restaurants, Joe Warwick »
Niklas has the updated version of this very useful restaurant guide, in which chefs around the world divulge their favourite eating spots. He features in the book, talking about his favourite places in Stockholm, and his restaurant picks up a few recommendations from other chefs.

Posted 17th September 2015

In Things


Words: Killian Fox
Photos: Yousef Eldin

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