Passion For Food – Make the most of your ingredients

Fans of the Scandinavia food revolution won’t want to miss The Passion for Food Festival, taking place at Eriksberg in Gothenburg very soon (1-3 March 2013). It’s a mouth-watering showcase of West Sweden’s award-winning local food. Exquisite fragrant cheeses, colourful vegetable stands, hand-made ice cream, bread, wine, meat, herring, sausages…

Photo: Mikael Almse

There will also be a cook-off between four of Sweden’s top chefs – featuring the legendary Leif Mannerström from Gothenburg, who previously ran the Michelin-star restaurant Sjömagasinet – and the People’s Omelette Championships. There will be many other well-known food personalities, but also a few of the hottest new local names with interesting things to say.

Photo: Mikael Almse

The focus at this year’s festival is on ‘getting the most out of each ingredient’. I chatted to Chef Anna Bengtsson, who works at the Koster Gardens Restaurant on The South Koster Island on Sweden’s west coast. The restaurant was named Sustainable Restaurant of the Year at the country’s Restaurant Gala Awards 2012 for its emphasis on growing and raising its own produce.

Chef Anna Bengtsson in the glasshouse.

You won the Sustainable Restaurant of the Year Award in 2012, please could you tell me about that?

We were presented with the award at a restaurant gala which is held by the industry publication ‘RS’ every year. It’s a prestigious title which I regard as proof that people appreciate what we do in our everyday work. I also think of this as a carrot, something to make us work even harder and to keep fighting for what we believe in.

Do you have a favourite resource-saving cooking tip?

Generally speaking, I believe you shouldn’t let anything go to waste. Store any leftovers in a cold place. Most things can be frozen and you can keep leftovers in the fridge for a greater number of days than most people think.

For example, I love potatoes – they are a cheap natural product that can be varied almost endlessly. The peelings are often discarded, but they can easily be deep fried and turned into heavenly crisps instead of going into the compost. This is why we’ll cook various potato dishes at the Passion For Food Festival. We want to make the potato the star of the plate, to showcase all of the different things you can do with them!

Text: Maria Zihammou

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