フレデリック・ジョンソンFredrik Johnsson


Photo: © VOLT

Scandinavian fine dining has been in the spotlight during the last decade. Particularly in Sweden, a rather interesting batch of young chefs have made Swedish dishes – or the Scandinavian cuisine concept – more popular and attractive to the international savvy diner. One of these young chefs is Fredrik Johnsson. For a couple of years he worked at LUX, with Swedish renowned chef Henrik Norström. Currently – together with Johan Bengtsson and Peter Andersson – he is in charge of VOLT restaurant in central Stockholm. They acquired the Michelin star in 2015. Today, Fredrik is still proud of the large amount of scramble eggs he served to Scandinavian truck drivers when he worked as a breakfast chef in one of the ferry lines operating between Denmark and Sweden. For about three years, he lived in Oslo working at Feinschmecker, another Michelin star restaurant. Technically speaking, Nordic cuisine is influenced by an array of international choices. Arguably, Japanese and Mediterranean are the more prominent ones like Koji and Garum, respectively – the quality fish available in Sweden also enhances the use of Japanese and Mediterranean culinary techniques. We had the pleasure to sit down with Fredrik to depict a bit further the current fine dining in Sweden.スカンジナビアの高級レストランは、この10年で益々注目を浴びるようになった。特にスウェーデンでは、若いシェフたちがスウェーデン料理や、スカンジナビア料理を国際的に精通した美食家たちにも通用する、より魅力的で面白味のある料理にしてきた。そのようなシェフたちの一人がフレデリック・ジョンソンだ。彼は、スウェーデンの有名シェフ、ヘンリック・ノールストロームの元、二年間ラックスで働き、現在はヨハン・ベングソン、ピーター・アンダーソンと共に、ストックホルム中心街にあるレストラン・ヴォルトのシェフとして活躍している。フレデリックにゆっくりと座りながら、スウェーデンの今の高級レストランについてもう少し詳しく話を聞くことができた。












全てはノーマのせいです(笑)。 いいえ、でもこういった道筋を開拓した彼らは本当に素晴らしいのです。 今もなお新しい道を前進し続ける彼らが、新しい北欧料理を創造してきたと言えると思います。







VOLT restaurant

住所:Kommendörsgatan 16, 114 48 Stockholm

TEL:+46 (0)8 662 3400

Text: Victor Moreno
Translation: Satsuki Miyanishi
How important is to attend culinary school to your opinion?

I don’t know if that’s important. After all, when I look back to school, it’s like yeah I learned things but not all of them were good things. Everything is new now. In Sweden you have like three-four weeks training out in the restaurants. In Denmark and Norway, you have two years. You go one year in school and two years on a restaurant. Then you learn something. Cooking in a cantina in the school for teachers who are coming to eat, that’s not the proper way to do it.

When did you open VOLT?

In December 2010.

How did the idea come about?

Actually me and Peter started all up. Then we figured out we needed someone to take care of the wine list, because we were the chefs. We didn’t want to open a Michelin star but something in-between. We called it gastro-bistro. Between bistro and fine dining. About eight years ago that kind of restaurant didn’t exist here in Stockholm. Now they are everywhere. But then we have evolved into what we are today.

In 2015 you won your first Michelin Star. How did this affect VOLT dynamics?

Everything changed. At the vey beginning we were looking for a place that had a bar as well, we wanted to be loud – yet a small dining room – to have people drinking and a party next door, that was the plan. At the beginning, the vibe was a little bit rougher, I think, darker and music louder (laughs). Now we redefined things, we care because if you loose your star then you are a restaurant who looses its star, so now it’s really important we move in the right direction. We cannot step back and make it rougher again, that’s not possible anymore (laughs). It was not our plan to become a fine restaurant and to achieve the Michelin star. When we started I think we charged 700 SEK (about $75) for the big menu, which is quite low for a Michelin star restaurant.

Would be right to say Volt serves Swedish dishes strictly?

We are inspired more over the world like Japanese but still everything with Swedish ingredients, Swedish techniques in the base but still we use things like Koji for the Guinea fowl we served today, for instance, and Garum techniques, which is from Italy.

Do you like to deliver a homely feeling or it is more about sophistication?

We want to play around all the dishes. We want to use simple things like pickle, rhubarb, which is kind of a childhood memory for us in Sweden, so we want it to feel a little bit like that but still very, vey new of course.

What do you think about the more classic Swedish food?

It is too fatty, it is for workers, not for the kind of people who works today. Classic homemade Swedish food, known as husmanskost, this is for people who works with the whole body.

What is the story behind the restaurant’s name VOLT?

We have always worked with sustainability. It was actually Björn Atldax who came with that idea of the arrows around the name. Björn is in charge of our interior decoration too. The name is really nothing related to food, I think there was an old company making batteries in the areas but we didn’t know that when we thought about this name (laughs). It is just a fancy name.

I think you work on seasonal products and everything is produced locally. Please tell me about it.

We have the season and it is very typical in winter and autumn it is all about harvesting and haunting. It is a lot of fermentation and salt too to preserve food. There is a lot of seafood at this time of the year too, but in summer there are lots of vegies, prime time for those. We follow as much as possible the Swedish seasons. Very rarely buy anything from outside Sweden, maybe within the Nordics actually. There are just a few producers to storage veggies. Everyone storages the root veggies but none storages like bleak and that kind of things.

How much energy you put in finding the right ingredients?

That’s the weird thing, last year at this time of the year, we had leak from Skåne, but this year we didn’t. So it’s like, we cannot get the information from our providers that good.

Because of the weather, perhaps?

Yeah, I think it was a very dry summer. They skipped them because turned out too yellow.

Definitely Nature defines your approach to the menu.

Yes, of course. That’s why the beetroot sauce we served today is actually made on butter in the beginning but we changed it to oil because the hard summer made a shortage of food for the cows during winter, so the cream production went really low.

I believe the environment is also an important thing for you in this process?

That’s exactly how we work. It depends what the farmers can provide to us, of course. But still we need the quality. We know who we are working with. We know if we buy veal, that is good from this producer. If they offer us, then we put it in the menu. The producers are creating the menu together with us.

How much anticipation do you have in order to know what you can count on?

Hopefully per week. It is very hard, maybe a week before they reckon a quantity but when it comes the day it was less than they planned. We do changes and adjust on the menu but not during the season.

I’ve been lucky to interview a few well-regarded chefs and everyone says it’s all about the product. How does this work for you?

It is all about the product, indeed. Then you have to find the way how to cook it. Not all products are perfect when they arrive, you have to take care of it in a perfect way.

Do you feel more comfortable working with “carta blanche”?

From the beginning, we didn’t have it but now it is much easier like this if you want to work with sustainability and now you know how much you are going to serve. We have absolutely nothing that goes in the bin.

How would you define this sophisticated version of the Swedish dinning beyond the clichés of Nordic minimalism?

Everything is Noma’s fault (laughs). No, but they are really good, they have created some sort of guidelines like ten years ago. Now the steps they are taking go even further, they are really creating the Nordic cuisine.

As a professional, are you happy following these type of concepts or rather take your own initiatives?

I think it’s weird that we didn’t do this earlier, because it’s a logic way of cooking by using your own products, what is close to you. You gotta be kicked in the right direction.

Do you have any contact with other awarded chefs in town?

Everybody knows each other. We have friends and we have a little community called Exceptionell Råvara Farmers and chefs meet to try to evolve the product, how to breed pigs, for instance. Things like that. We do things together; we are in contact.

Do you work with molecular gastronomy?

Not at VOLT. When I started at LUX it was really molecular, the fat duck kind of elBulli. Here at VOLT we don’t use this.

What about the atmosphere?

We wanted to be natural. It is like 97% natural not painting as okay as possible. Kind of a future vision of a Swedish bar. The sculptures in glass boxes are made by Björn Atldax.

Which are your signature dishes?

Maybe the veal with a crisp made of rye. We serve it with elk during autumn, Carpaccio style. We serve the crisp with grey peas. And well, I would say the main signature dish is the sponge cake, Swedish sockerkaka. It’s a classic. Very popular for our clients.

Do you enjoy cooking for people close to you?

I do, of course (laughs).

Please give us a few tips to our readers, some places in Stockholm you like particularly.

I´m addicted to bread and sweet pastries, kind of a problem… Two places for coffee and bread/pastry: Bageri Petrus, located near Mariatorget. And Sebastien på Söder, located in Söderhallarna. Both are honest and serves really good stuff! There is a nice store just round the corner from Petrus, Adisgladis. A store with sustainable clothes and gadgets. GO THERE.

VOLT restaurant
Address: Kommendörsgatan 16, 114 48 Stockholm
Opening hours: 18:00 – 0:00 (Saturday from 17:00)
Closed on Sunday and Monday
Tel: +46 (0)8 662 3400

Text: Victor Moreno

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