There is no question that one of the most impressive cooking performances I have ever seen was Bjorn Frantzen’s show at Chef’s Revolution in Zwolle organised by Jonnie and Therese Boer of De Librije earlier this year. Together with his team, they prepared 19 dishes which are normally take three and a half hours to prepare in just 44 minutes. He assured the audience that ‘we have not trained for this before,’ which made it all the more impressive.
The Swedish chef who has two Michelin stars for his restaurant Frantzen in Sweden and is listed 23rd in the World’s Best 50 restaurants said that he ends up traveling too many times to tell the restaurant story and what he really wanted to do was cook so he was trying a new experiment which is to showcase the dinner they prepared in the restaurant the previous Saturday.
Frantzen serves one tasting menu of 19 dishes and it is changed every day according to what is fresh, local and seasonal. Anyone who follows this Swedish chef on Twitter or Instagram knows that the chef is constantly experimenting with new dishes and flavour combinations.
The restaurant is special because it can take only 20 guests in 50 square metres. To prepare lunch or dinner, there are 12 chefs in the kitchen and the furthest table from the kitchen is just 4 metres away. “We cook everything there and then and we have removed the doors from the restaurant so that we eliminate the border between the kitchen and the tables.”
Frantzen spoke about how he gets inspired when travelling. He recalled that on a trip to Japan they had spent 12 days eating two lunches and one dinner everyday. “We had the feeling that whatever we ate we never felt stuffed. We realised that the reason for this is that in Japan they do not serve any bread or dairy products during lunch or dinner.”
One night they decided to not serve bread in the restaurant. “Instead we made a soup with fermented rye with sour milk and bacon oil. We gave our guests a flavour of bread without the feeling that they are getting stuffed.”
Guests at Frantzen also get to see butter being made in front of them. “We make homemade clotted cream which we turn into butter in front of our clients,” the Swedish chef said.
He spoke about the exceptional shellfish that they get from Faroe Islands including sea urchins. He said that shellfish normally have a substance that gives sweetness to a dish but this is normally gone after 30 minutes so they needed to ensure that the shellfish they serve in the restaurant is incredibly fresh. This is the length to which the Swedish chef goes to serve freshness on the table.
One of the signature dishes of the restaurant is horse sushi. He said that after the horse meat scandal it has become difficult to use horse because of the negative connotations. Since horse meat is very low in fat it is very difficult to cook so it works best served raw. “However, we need to make sure that what we serve is Swedish horse,” Frantzen said.
Like most top end restaurants nowadays, Frantzen has teamed up with a vegetable supplier that has two gardens and supplies the restaurant with vegetables all year round. “We have an all year round supply of vegetables that are in season and as a chef this is really fantastic because you are part of the garden’s journey,” he said.
The Swedish chef with his team of two assistants managed to present all the dishes in under 45 minutes. We bring you the photos of his dishes courtesy of www.apicbase.com.