On Monday 3rd September, Executive Chef of Aster, Helena Puolakka, will welcome Sweden’s Niklas Ekstedt in a celebration of the best Scandinavian culinary talent. This very special night will be the fourth in the series of evenings showcasing remarkable chefs ‘in conversation’ with Richard Vines, Bloomberg’s chief food critic, whilst a four-course menu of dishes from Niklas’s new book, ‘Happy Food’, is recreated by Helena Puolakka.
Niklas Ekstedt is globally renowned for reviving traditional Swedish cooking techniques, choosing to give up electricity and gas in favour of burning wood as the only heat source in his kitchen. Following opening his first restaurant in Sweden at the age of 21, he opened Ekstedt in November 2011 in central Stockholm, which now holds a Michelin star and continues to focus on cooking with fire alone, reinforcing his position as an innovator in the culinary scene worldwide. He now launches ‘Happy Food’ with Henrik Ennart, an award-winning science journalist. The book assesses how the food we eat not only affects our gut health, but also our brains and mental health. The unbeatable combination of Ekstedt’s recipes and kitchen know-how with Ennart’s research and flowing narrative, along with beautiful pictures and impeccable Nordic cooking, makes this book a must-have. It also brings Hygge and lagom into the kitchen, allowing everyone to live and eat like the Scandinavians.
Helena Puolakka has trained with some of the world’s most exciting chefs, including Pierre Koffmann and Pierre Gagnaire in Paris, but her approach to cooking has been equally shaped by her Finnish upbringing which focussed on uncomplicated and distinctive flavours. The differing and yet harmonious cooking styles of herself and Ekstedt will come together in a very special four course menu:
- Slow-cooked artichokes, baby potatoes, barigoule vinaigrette, pickled baby carrots, tarragon oil
- Warmed smoked Cornish mackerel fillet, sofrito, grilled ceps
- Roast partridge, sauerkraut, lingonberries
- Tunworth, homemade super seed crackers, honey
- Bitter Chocolate Bites
As curator of the Aster Chef Series, Richard Vines will be ‘in conversation’ with Niklas and Helena, offering a rare opportunity for those in attendance to learn more about these great chefs who have had such a profound impact on the global culinary scene.