|Image: Oaxen DUO
Behind every great man… is an even greater (and stronger) woman.
Not taking anything away from Chef Magnus Ek, whom many in the highly competitive food and restaurant industry in Sweden (and Scadinavia) regard as the pioneer of New Nordic Cuisine.
Tell any chef in Stockholm that you ate at Oaxen, emphasizing the Oaxen Krog and not Slip and they will try to squeeze out some secrets on what you ate, did you enjoy it and well… is it better than what I just fed you?
Chef Magnus and his lovely wife, Agneta Green recently stepped back into the restaurant business after closing their 17 year old restaurant in the southern part of Stockholm archipelago.
Luckily for tourists without a car, the dynamic duo have now two restaurants, linked together by a small room, Oaxen Krog and Slip.
For those not savvy to the latest trend in Sweden, and Europe in fact, restaurants are going more casual and opening more affordable alternatives to their Michelin restaurants (Yes, Oaxen is a Michelin baby – despite not shouting it out from the rooftop).
Oaxen Krog is for those still seeking out gourmet food for special occasions. Starting with either 6 or 10 courses, you experience Nordic cuisine at it’s best.
You won’t leave hungry, serving sizes are pretty big considering it is a degustation, yet you won’t feel uneasy since the servers are warm, friendly and just happy they are serving you.
|Image: Oaxen Krog
For Oaxen Krog Recipe of
If you want a more bistro-feel where you and a few friends can gaggle over great food and wine, head to Oaxen Slip after walking Djurgården. Otherwise, do yourself a favour and stay in Oaxen Krog and feel pampered.
I sat down with Agenta and asked her about her love for the restaurant business, working with her husband in a very stressful environment and what the world should know and try at Oaxen.
|Image: Team Oaxen Chef Magnus and Agneta (Sommelier, and everything else)
1. Where are you and Magnus from?
I am from Skåne in the south of Sweden, and we met when Magnus, who is from Stockholm, was working as a chef at a small restaurant there. We wanted to run a restaurant together and in 1994 we took over a small seasonal restaurantwith a fairly simple fare, located in the Stockholm archipelago, called Oaxen Skärgårdskrog. We beganexperimenting with ingredients that we foundon the island and nearby as well as with wine pairings, to creategreat food experiences. Basically the same that we are doing now, but in a new location in Stockholm.
2. How has Swedish or Scandinavian cooking evolved from when you started to now?
We were pioneers in Sweden in the way we were foraging and using the ingredients that grew in the forest behind our restaurant or even by the waterfront. How many restaurateurs took their staff out to pick oak moss ten years ago? It is different today in many ways. There are so many great chefs and the level of creativity is amazing. It has far from peaked we believe. The future looks interesting.
3. What do you think is the success to working with your partner in the food business?
Running a restaurant business like ours is much more than a job, it is a lifestyle. We don’t have much time off. We share a common idea about the restaurant experience we want to create, with the natural, ethical and local produce at center stage. Good local products always seemed more exclusive to us than expensive important ones. In the everyday work Magnus is responsible for the kitchen, while design and wine is my specialty. I know how to match Magnus’ cooking. But we try all food and wine pairings together, all of the staff.
4. What should people try at Oaxen?
In the Oaxen Krog they just have to choose a menu including either six or ten courses and wines or juices. After that we will take care of everything while our guests simply lean back to enjoy all the fantastic tastes.
In our Nordic bistro the Slip they should order a number of different dishes and sides and share between them around the table. It is a nice way to dine, more social and fun than just eating one dish each. It is a casual and friendly restaurant that you can visit often both for lunch and for dinner. What people should try, you ask. Why not book the Club room upstairs and have a private dinner next time? Or perhaps a day trip around the archipelago with M/Y Alba before dinner?
5. What is your favourite Swedish ingredient to work with?
We like to use natural ingredients that we find in our surroundings. They taste superb and we enjoy going out to pick herbs and vegetables near the restaurants. The flora here is different that on the island Oaxen, but there is even more to be found here on Djurgården. And we are constantly discovering more for our guests to enjoy.