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Foodies Take Note of This Swedish Sensation

BY Chuck Bowen | March 15, 2017 | Feature Features

Håkan & Anne Thörnström run their internationally renowned restaurant in Sweden with an intense dedication to local ingredients. In March, the award-winning Nordic cuisine of Thörnströms kök comes to Aspen.
Anne and Håkan Thörnström bring their cuisine to Aspen.

Seizing a blossoming food movement at the moment of its genesis, Håkan and Anne Thörnström opened Thörnströms kök in 1997 in Gothenburg, Sweden, eventually earning a coveted Michelin star for the restaurant’s celebrated farm-to-table culinary experience.

In Scandinavia, this aspiration to local sourcing and subsisting on the land has a particular resonance, as hard winters can limit choices, imbuing Thörnströms kök’s art with an element of transcendence.

For one night only, March 23, Håkan and Anne Thörnström will bring their cuisine to America. The chefs will merge Swedish-derived dishes that emphasize fish, pickling and the inventive minimalism of plate feng shui with an organized and tactical American kitchen culture.

The Thörnströms will be at The Little Nell’s tony restaurant, Element 47, serving U.S. ingredients cooked in what Håkan succinctly calls a “Swedish style with Swedish flavors.”

To start, there will be finger foods like smoked deer tartar with caper and horseradish served with Champagne, followed by a first course of a Nordic salad with pickled herring, marinated salmon and baked leeks. The main event will be an onion and rosemary fried wagyu beef with Jerusalem artichoke puree. Dessert offerings will include black currant bavarois and crushed ginger cake. Each course will be accompanied by wine. There will also be a side table with the Thörnströms’ legendary gravlax, a marinated salmon.

Håkan grounds himself in the minutiae of process. He doesn’t meditate, but drinks “loads of strong coffee” during prep hours in whatever kitchen he finds himself. For him, the key to success is to “do a well-prepared mise en place in advance,” ensuring that every element, from the vendace roe to the silverware, is in place.

Though he doesn’t deem it so, Håkan is practicing meditation, achieving an assortment of culinary fare that celebrates simplicity and directness of form. 6pm, $95, 675 E. Durant Ave., 970.920.6330

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