EKSTEDT- the Michelin Starred Fire Pit


Today, Thursday 26 February, Michelin revealed its first dedicated Scandinavian restaurant guide. They awarded EKSTEDT restaurant in Stockholm * stars, a confirmation of the award given in their 2013 European city guide.

Swedish chef Niklas Ekstedt shows astonishing creativity, producing elegant food using long-lost cooking techniques and burning wood as his only source of heat. Precisely the opposite of molecular, modernist or futuristic gastronomy, the extraordinary restaurant experience delivered by his team, was rewarded in April 2013 when EKSTEDT was given its first Michelin star.

Since opening in November 2011, Restaurant EKSTEDT has received numerous awards for its way of presenting and preparing food. But it’s not an easy task managing the right amount of wood to maintain the perfect heat for each exquisite ingredients. Everything on the menu, from an Entrecote Flambadou with oysters and fired salad and Sweetbreads with smoked whitefish roe and apple to Cloudberries served with socca, is cooked over the restaurant’s magnificent fire pit, in the wood-fired oven or on top of the wood burning stove. No electric cookers, no gas-burners. The chefs also only use Scandinavian wood in order to give the food a truly unique character – one you can’t get anywhere else in the world.

“You can create minor miracles with fire, smoke, ashes and soot.” Niklas Ekstedt

A set menu, consisting of four or seven courses, includes seasonal offerings of the region’s finest meat, seafood, fish, game and vegetables. Trademarks of the Nordic palate such as lingon berries, wild herbs, pine and wild mushrooms are transformed as ancient traditions meet modern Swedish cuisine.

The wine list is just as ambitious – unique and as natural as possible to match the natural flavours of the food.

”Cooking over flame could imply the naffness and coarseness of the burnt and sweet blokey barbeque or it could be the companionship of a camp fire, but a flame is where all kitchens start and things here are carefully and properly roasted, which gives them a piquancy that you don’t get by baking in an oven. It is both fundamental and inventive. I particularly like the char in hay with smoked butter and the chimney-smoked lobster. Kitchens that get obsessed with one thing or technique can show off their limitations rather than their possibilities, but Ekstedt has a light hand with the smoke and the flame and a clever menu!”

AA Gill, The Sunday Times. March 2013.

Situated in the heart of Stockholm, the interior is Scandinavian design at its best and takes inspiration from Niklas Ekstedt’s roots in both Jämtland in northern Sweden and Skåne in the south. In the restaurant’s warm and inviting atmosphere, guests can watch the chefs work by the magnificent fire pit where every order is prepared à la minute.

Dinner at EKSTEDT is more than a meal, it’s a life experience. And it’s sizzling hot.

EKSTEDT was named second in a ’Ten Hottest Restaurants in the World’ list compiled by prestigious restaurant guide Zagat.

For reservations please contact;

Restaurant EKSTEDT

Humlegårdsgatan 17

114 46 Stockholm

T +46 (0)8 611 12 10


Opening hours:
Tuesday – Friday from 18:00

Saturday from 16:00

EKSTEDT accepts reservations by phone Monday-Friday 8:30 to 19:00, Saturday 11:00 to 17:00


Born in 1978, Niklas was hailed a gastronomic Wunderkind when he opened his first restaurant at the age of 21. “Restaurant Niklas” in Helsingborg, a town in the south of Sweden, was an immediate success and won several awards. With characteristic energy, he celebrated his accomplishment with the opening of a summer restaurant in nearby Viken, a village by the sea; “Niklas i Viken”.

Six years later, Niklas decided it was time to move to Stockholm and opened “1900”, focusing on Swedish ingredients and local traditional cuisine with a modern twist. It has since changed both its name to “Niklas” and its direction to embrace an international outlook.

In search of further challenges, Niklas conceived the bold idea of creating a cuisine using only flames to cook with. After a number of technical issues “EKSTEDT” opened in 2011. Soon after, the restaurant was pronounced a smoking success and considered the talk of the town. It still is.

Before starting his own restaurant business, Niklas worked for a number of world-renowned chefs, including Charlie Trotter in Chicago, Alain Ducasse in Paris, Heston Blumenthal in the UK and carried out a brief internship at Ferran Adrià’s elBulli in Spain.

Niklas partly grew up in Järpen, a small village outside the famous Swedish ski resort of Åre. Following a serious back injury, he decided to forego being a professional snowboarder and chose to pursue his other passion in life- food.

Since 2003, Niklas Ekstedt has hosted a popular cooking show on national Swedish television. His latest show Niklas Mat saw him visiting some of the world’s most exciting culinary destinations, meeting with Gaston Acurio, Inaki Aizpitarte and Enrique Olvera amongst others, along the way. He has also written four cookbooks, one of them published in English; “Scandinavian Classics” (Skyhorse Publishing).

Niklas lives in Stockholm with his wife and two children.


Photo Credit- PA Jorgensen

Posted in Ekstedt, Food & Art, Foods Blog, London Food PR, London Restaurant PR, Spoon Blog 2014, Spoon Loves | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Celebrate Pancake Day the Swedish way with Niklas Ekstedt and Leila Lindholm

We have had a few ideas involving a couple of our Swedish clients and Pancake Day which is just around the corner on Tuesday 17th February. 

 Screen Shot 2015-02-10 at 16.03.30Sweden’s answer to Nigella Lawson, TV star, author and retailer – Leila Lindholm- has many pancake variations up her sleeve ranging from the classic Swedish pancake (served with cream and home-made jam) to ricotta pancakes, blinis and buttermilk pancake.

Leila’s Saffron Pancake recipe is the one that particularly stands out to us however. Made from rice, saffron, almond paste and flaked almonds, as well as the conventional ingredients of flour, milk and eggs, this innovative flavor and texture combination promises to be a welcome addition to Pancake Day this year.

Michelin starred Chef Niklas Ekstedt (who is going to be on Saturday Kitchen on the 27th Feb) has also been known to serve a lightly caramelised Socca (chickpea pancake), topped with rum-soaked raisins, nougat crumbs, chopped hazelnuts and orange curd and a thick Sourdough pancake, served with calvados-flambéed apple, salted caramel ice cream and toasted hazelnuts on his Tasting Menu at his Stockholm restaurant Ekstedt

At home, Niklas and his family prepare Kolbulle - a salty, oily, bacon pancake made over open-fire in a large cast-iron pan, that Swedes have eaten through the ages. Like so many Swedish dishes, the dish is served with lingon berries and a hot cup of coffee. 

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Leila’s Saffron Pancake

Makes 1 dish/8 servings 


. 125g (4 ½ oz) short-grain rice

. 150ml (5fl oz) water

. 500ml (18 fl oz) semi-skimmed milk

. ½ tsp salt

. 2 sachets (1g) saffron strands

. 6 free-range eggs

. 2 tbsp plain flour

. 200g (7 oz) almond paste, grated

. 25g (1 oz) flaked almonds

. Butter for the dish

. Jam and slightly whipped cream, to serve 


1. Boil the rice and water in a pot with the lid on until the water has been absorbed. Add the milk and the salt. 

2. Boil the rice for about 30 minutes. Stir occasionally and add saffron towards the end of the cooking time. Let the rice cool. 

3. Preheat the oven to 180˚ (350˚F/gas 4)

4. Whisk the eggs in a bowl and add the flour, grated almond paste and the saffron infused rice mixture.

5. Pour the batter into a buttered, oven-safe dish and sprinkle with flaked almonds. 

6. Bake the pancake in the middle of the oven for about 30 minutes, until it is golden and the batter is completely firm.

7. Serve the pancake with lightly whipped cream and jam. 

© Leila Lindholm,  “One More Slice”, 2010 

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The Modernist Cuisine App is the world’s ‘Best Digital App’

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Modernist Cuisine at Home on Devices

A huge congratulations to The Cooking Lab team and their partners at Inkling for winning the Gourmand (World Cook Book Awards)  Best Digital app for their Modernist Cuisine at Home App. The award will be officially presented at The Best in the World  Awards which will be taking place in Yantai, China,  June 8-11, 2015.

The Modernist Cuisine at Home App (£59.99) which launched last year, contains 37 technique videos, 416 recipes and 1,683 photos.

Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch, the App is a completely immersive experience. The seamless navigation throughout make it intuitive and exceptionally user friendly. Noteworthy functions include a Yield Converter, which can adapt recipes to how many people you’re feeding, a Shopping List function which adds all ingredients from your chosen recipe to a list with the tap of a button and a Recipe Finder which enables you to find recipes by ingredient and difficultly level.

More information on the App, the Modernist Cuisine trilogy and on Nathan Myhrvold can be seen at http://modernistcuisine.com/books/modernist-cuisine-at-home-app/

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Happy Australia day from SpoonHQ and Juni New York!


We would like to wish all our Antipodean followers a very happy Australia Day today and hope that on this gloomy January day in London, our talk of Australian food and the sunshine will be uplifting for anyone commuting home from work this evening.

Something that we often find ourselves asking Spoon HQ’s Sarah Canet (herself a closet-Australian) is what is it about the UK that makes it so popular with Australian chefs and restaurateurs? 2014 was certainly a busy year for London-based Australians – we watched Brett Graham break into the top 10 of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants Awards list with his West London restaurant, The Ledbury, as well as witnessing the openings of Spring and a second Granger & Co in London.

This year, Spoon’s Michelin-starred Australian Chef Shaun Hergatt of JUNI, New York, is being flown over to the UK at the beginning of February to appear at Northcote Manor’s Obsession Festival. Shaun will be the 2nd Aussie to appear at the festival, as Brett Graham of the Ledbury will also be cooking.

Shaun’s trademark, classic dish at Juni is his reimagining of Australia’s favourite chocolate bar – The Cherry Ripe. His homage to the Cherry Ripe is made of chocolate, coconut and cherries (as with the chocolate bar) but has the addition of a very grown-up ingredient- foie gras. Here is the dish in all its glory plus a link to a video he made dedicated to the dish.

For those unable to make it up to Lancashire for Obsession or secure a place at the Ledbury, here are some of our favourite places in London for a quick Aussie fix:

– Make your way down to Kopapa for soft-boiled eggs with Vegemite soldiers

– Try Nude on Brick Lane for some Lamingtons

Granger & Co for some of Bill’s Passionfruit Pavlova

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Shhh…Any friend of ours is a friend of theirs – ‘Friends of Petersham’ Offer

restaurant, credit to petersham nurseriesShhh…they said. Silenced I am not. Petersham Nurseries Cafe is running it’s unsurprisingly popular ‘Friends of Petersham’ offer again amd they want me to keep quiet about such a juicy thing? What is this offer that they want me to keep from you?

The winter set lunch menu costs £23 for two courses or £28 for 3. It is served from Tuesday to Friday. ‘Friends of Petersham’ however can choose any dish from the a la carte menu and slot the cost of it into the set lunch ‘wallet’.

So who are these smug friends to whom the offer applies? They’re people in the know, the ones on Petersham Nurseries mailing list, the ones who have partied with the owners or the ones who read the Spoon HQ blog. All you have to do is get in touch, book and quote ‘Friends of Petersham’. These so called friends have until Friday 27th February 2015 before they’re given the elbow.

Phones can be busy so I suggest if you’d like to try Damian Clisby and Lucy Boyd’s latest menu you email them instead – info@petershamnurseries.com – quoting ‘FRIENDS OF PETERSHAM’ in your message

Alternatively if you prefer to book online just add ‘FRIENDS OF PETERSHAM’ to the special requests message box. You can book online here.

To check out this week’s menu at Petersham Nurseries Cafe click here.

Notes about bookings
Available to parties of 9 or less from Tuesday 6th January – Friday 27th February. (Menu subject to seasonal availability and may vary. A discretionary service charge of 12.5% will be added to your bill).

This deal is not available on Mondays (when the restaurant is closed) or at weekends.

Contact reservations on 020 8940 5230 or info@petershamnurseries.com

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Nominate Petersham Nurseries Cafe for the first ever People’s Favourite Award at the Sustainable Restaurant Awards 2015

PN Shop Trolley by David Loftus

To help support Petersham Nurseries Café (and be in with a chance of winning a pair of tickets to attend the awards ceremony on 23rd February in London, plus transport, and a night at The Zetter) nominate Petersham Nurseries Café for ‘The People’s Favourite’ at the Sustainable Restaurant Awards.  

Nominating Petersham (and entering the competition) is simple- just explain, in no more than 100 words, why they should be on the shortlist. Further details can be found here on the SRA website.

Nominations will be open until the 23rd January. Entries will be judged by the SRA,  The Independent on Sunday and Bookatable.

The shortlist will be published in The Independent on Sunday on 1st February.

Petersham Nurseries Cafe Supper Club May 2014 Credit to Marimo Images www.marimoimages.com (10)To help with your 100 words on why Petersham should win;

PETERSHAM & SLOW FOOD:Our sourcing ethos inspires our chefs who are respectful of the produce they work with and appreciate its exceptional quality and taste. In turn the small farmers and artisan producers who grow or produce these ingredients benefit from our support – a virtuous circle best espoused by the international Slow Food movement.

As a member of the Slow Food Supporters Scheme, Petersham Nurseries is able to demonstrate its commitment to good, clean and fair ingredients. ‘Good’ describes the quality and taste of the food you are eating; ‘clean’ refers to the standard of production and consumption without damage to the environment, animal welfare or our health; and ‘fair’ ensures that the farmer, cheese maker, fisherman (or fisherwoman), hunter or baker, is respected, remunerated appropriately and able to live with dignity. This is an ethos that we uphold throughout our organisation and across all business functions from the sourcing of our seeds and the selection within our shops, to the quality of the food leaving the kitchen.”

*Petersham Nurseries Cafe recently won runner-up in “Best Slow Food Restaurant / Eatery” in the 2014 Slow Food London Awards.

*Petersham Nurseries Café is a member of the Slow Food Supporters Scheme and able to demonstrate its commitment to good, clean and fair ingredients – www.slowfood.org.uk

*Petersham Nurseries Café has just joined the Sustainable Restaurant Association – www.thesra.org

For more information on Petersham Nurseries Cafe go here

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Chef Margot Janse of The Tasting Room at The Rijksmuseum’s new restaurant

On 1 November last year the Rijksmuseum opened its new restaurant RIJKS. Yesterday Dutch born South African resident Margot Janse of the multi award-winning Tasting Room at Le Quartier Français was in Amsterdam to launch Rijks’s seasonal guest chef programme. For this project, the restaurant’s team of top chefs under the supervision of Joris Bijdendijk will be reinforced by an internationally renowned guest chef who will cook for a week and teach the brigade their Rijksmuseum inspired dishes. These will then be incorporated into their regular menu.

Inspired by some of the paintings at RIJKS museum, chef Janse created a special menu which will be served throughout winter.

Sweetcorn veloute, milk cloud, madagascan pepper maize meal, sesame

Haring,  vetkoek, oyster braaioli, lemon and champagne chutney

Afrikaanse gruttenpap, buchu, chicken, pumpkin in a wonderbag(Barley, millet, sorghum, lentils)

Boeren opleg custard, grapes, walnuts, wild rice, fynbos bread sticks, Grape jelly and slated dried grapes

Baobab hangop, coconut sorbet, macadamia, salted honeybush caramel


Here’s some images from yesterday’s press launch…


Chef Margot Janse will be cooking from 8th to 10th January. All 600 dinner places have already been reserved for these dates however there are still some available for lunch. Booking details here: http://www.rijksrestaurant.nl/en/reservations/


Posted in Food & Art, Foods Blog, Le Quartier Francais, London Food PR, London Restaurant PR, Spoon Blog 2014 | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Modernist Cuisine’s Foreign Editions cross the Atlantic

MC French_Straight_on White_01543

In the USA or Canada and prefer to consume your reading matter in a language other than English? Well your voice has been heard and understood. From today’s date Modernist Cuisine, The Art & Science of Cooking will be available in French and German for the very first time.

MC_German_Vol 1 Front Cover_Final_01587



Especially useful when the information you need to digest is gastronomically technical and your mother tongue is typically deprived, this set of beautiful books reveals science-inspired techniques for preparing food that ranges from the other-worldly to the sublime.



The USD$/CA$ 625 price tag might seem steep at first glance but when you encounter the six volumes, 1,522 recipes and 2,438 pages, you’ll realise that you can reap rewards for years to come.


And if you’d prefer something simpler and wish to read modernist recipes, tips and tricks in Spanish, then Modernist Cuisine at Home will be available in the USA & Canada today (29 December 2014) too. USD$/CA$ 140 – available from Amazon.com and the places where all fine books are sold.

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For more information on the foreign editions. Click here.


All photographs on this page are copyright of Chris Hoover & Modernist Cuisine LLC.








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Important news from Massimo Bottura

Massimo Bottura 2© Paolo Terzi

“There is a rumour spreading that I am planning to move Osteria Francescana to London. There is no such plan. If I were to ever move, it’s correct that I would most likely go to either London or New York as I appreciate both cities immensely but there is a big difference between imagining what one might do in the future and setting down a concrete plan.

This year has seen opportunities for me to spread my love of Italy and dreams for the evolution of the Italian kitchen outside of my home country. I chose to do this in Istanbul where I opened Ristorante Italia di Massimo Bottura within EATALY in the Zorlu Centre. This is not a second Osteria Francescana but an entirely different proposition and were I ever in a position to open a restaurant in London, New York or anywhere else it is likely that this restaurant too would be different. Osteria Francescana is not replicable, it exists in a unique place.

And besides, I couldn’t move right now, when there is so much to do in Italy. I’m already deep into my next project – Refettorio Ambrosiano – the refectory soup kitchen we’re running during Expo 2015 in Milan and the Agrian-Gastronomy project, where future generations of chefs and farmers can learn together, is advancing well.

It is flattering to see how excited people around the globe have been to the suggestion that I might move to London but it is important to set the record straight. There is no plan to move Osteria Francescana to London.” 

Massimo Bottura, Osteria Francescana 

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From the Rijksmuseum to the Ribble Valley – South Africa`s Chef Margot Janse in Europe next year

We are very happy to let you know that Chef Margot Janse of  Le Quartier Francais’ s multi award-winning restaurant, The Tasting Room in South Africa, will be participating in the 15th anniversary of Chef Nigel Howarth`s annual OBSESSION festival at Northcote Manor. Margot will be cooking on the 3rd February 2015, alongside Chefs Angela Hartnett (Murano and Limewood) and Lisa Allen (Northcote). Though her time in the UK will be limited Margot will be available for interviews whilst she is in Langho, Lancashire.

We also have news of a collaboration between Margot and the national museum of her motherland- The  Rijksmuseum  in theNetherlands,  home to masterpieces by Rembrandt, Frans Hals and Johannes Vermeer.  In January Margot will be shining her light on the museum`s newly opened RIJKS restaurant by curating the menu and creating new dishes with the restaurant`s own chefs. Open for lunch and dinner 7 days a week, the menu will feature dishes that primarily focus on products from Dutch soil. A team of top chefs under the supervision of Joris Bijdendijk will be reinforced with an internationally renowned guest chef curating each season. Margot will be the first.  For more information, take a look here.

Chef Margot Janse at The Tasting Room

Chef Margot Janse at The Tasting Room


Dutch-born Margot Janse, who has been at The Tasting Room for almost 2 decades, offers the finest and most genuine South African dining experience through an 8 course African Surprise Tasting Menu which showcases and reinterprets indigenous South African and African produce.

Janse does not just pay lip service to ‘local produce’ and ‘seasonality’. Her aim is to be 100% African. When she first arrived in South Africa over 20 years ago, she witnessed a culinary culture where chefs and restaurateurs dismissed local delicacies and products in favour of flown-in scallops, foie gras and cheese. At Le Quartier Francais, Janse has taken a different path, embracing a distinctly local direction, sourcing ingredients from Le Quartier Francais’s gardens or small producers who are as passionate as she is. Quail comes from nearby Paradyskloof, tennis-ball sized truffles are gathered in the Kalahari, cocoa is sourced from Madagascar and coffee from Ethiopia. The restaurant produces its own butter, bakes its bread daily and has barrels of home-made vinegar in its store room. Traditional South African flavours and ingredients such as spekboom and baobab are re-examined then reworked to create modern, refined dishes.

Janse is one of the few females named by Relais & Chateaux as one of its “Grand Chefs” (and one of only two Grand Chefs in Africa). Many have compared her work in South Africa to that of Alex Atala’s in Brazil. There are obvious similarities- both reworking indigenous ingredients in modern, exciting ways and both inviting the world to discover their country’s culinary identity.


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