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THE NORDIC WAVES-SCANDINAVIAN CHEFS: GUNNAR KARL GISLASON

The Nordic Waves is the term I used to describe this group of chefs from all of Scandinavia, mainly from Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Iceland and Norway. These chefs known for 3-4 years at international level have particularly been at the forefront over the past two years due to the recognition of New Nordic Cuisine and the emphasis on a cuisine close to nature and the local products. All this, without relying on the status attained by the restaurant Noma and Chef René Redzepi. But beyond fashions and trends of the moment, I discovered a high concentration of young chefs, innovative, creative, open to the world and all dedicated to their garden and immediate environment.

In a logical sequence, I begin 2012 in Scandinavia to present Chef Gunnar Karl Gislason, “fer-de-lance” of Icelandic cuisine. Like many other excellent Scandinavian chefs, Gislason promotes the best nordic produces in her cuisine long time ago. Moreover, thinking “Nordic cuisine”, I often think at Iceland, Faroe Island  as a starting point. I remember the trip “voyage iniatique” of René Redzepi at the beginning of noma (see the Carnet in noma book).

Child of the place, chef Gislason made his classes in Iceland before to go at noma and with the Icelandic National Culinary Team. In February 2009, he decided to open Dill Restaurant with the sommelier Olafur Öm Olafsson, a wonderful little place in the Nordic House in Reykjavik. This restaurant is a window and a laboratory for the cuisine of Gislason, a cuisine already recognized abroad (he cooked at the James Beard House, NYC) and rewarded in Iceland and elsewhere.

Yet this time, it is a cuisine deeply rooted in the Icelandic & Nordic terroir.  A really modern cuisine which revisits the old methods (traditional) of cooking and preparation. A chef with an unique voice and an universal language. To follow for long time!

 

 

 

Q+A WITH GUNNAR KARL GISLASON (www.dillrestaurant.is ):

1-(Scoffier) How do you explain the philosophy behind your cuisine and what is it main characteristics? What is the concept behind Dill Restaurant?

GKGislason– O well o well ! Icelandic kitchen, new nordic or slow food, it all sounds good and could all work fine with what we are doing. And to tell you the truth I don’t really care which one people use. We try to use our great Icelandic products, if what we need is not available in Iceland, we get them from our neighboring countries.

2-(Scoffier) Do you have a flavour or taste from your childhood that is again memorable?

GKGislason– I was raised in the country side and close to our house was a large field of 2 meters high chervil. I have play there a lot with my friends making secret tunnels and all that. Of course, I ate some of that fine anise smelling green herb and liked it. Even better was the scent of my clothes after one day in chervil.

3-(Scoffier) Do you have a particular foods (or products) that you often use in your recipes?

GKGislason– DILL would be pretty obvious answer, right ? And then there is the beautiful salted cod from my friend Elvar Reykjalín at Hauganes. He is using the old method, so it´s a one year’s pause and it just keep showing up on my menu.

4-(Scoffier) Do you have a mentor (chefs or anybody else) that inspires your cuisine?

GKGislason– My first cook book was given to me by my mother, it was White Heat by Marco Pierre White. I read that book 100 times and I would be lying if said that I didn’t get inspired after that. Then much later I worked for Erwin Lauterbach. His vegetables and philosophy is something, I will always remember and respect him. Later came René Redzepi and then my good friend Claus (Henriksen) that really opened up my mind on a good way.

5-(Scoffier) Can you describe the progression of the gastronomy in the country in the recent years?

GKGislason– After the financial crisis chefs have more and more opened up their eyes about Icelandic products because importing is expensive. And the Icelanders have started to produce more and more and that is very good! Now, it´s the only positive thinking about the financial crisis and at least we obtained something good out of it.

6-(Scoffier) How do you develop your recipes? What are your source(s) of inspiration?

GKGislason– Nothing and everything. It can be everything from nature to something that one of my children said the other day. Usually it just comes !

7-(Scoffier) You seem to have a natural affinity with the chef Claus Henriksen (Dragsholm Slot), are there any similarities in your cuisine?

GKGislason– Well we are good friends and we do agree on lot of things. I guess there are some similarities and that you could say about a lot of chefs using all the amazing raw materials from there nature. But every chef have their unique touch and more importantly there own nature. At the end of the day, the final result will never be the same.

8-(Scoffier) Do you are part of the New Nordic Cuisine manifesto?

GKGislason– Not really, I do use the manifesto as guidelines and I think that’s what it is, a guidelines rather that a rule. But then again I might be wrong, it happens.

9-(Scoffier) Can you give us a detailed recipe (Signature dish or other) that is characterized the cuisine of Gunnar Gislason and Dill Restaurant?

GKGislason– Recipe: Raekjur & Surmjolh uppsk

10-(Scoffier) What are your goals (ambitions) as chef and for your restaurant? Do you think about write a book, a television show, others?

GKGislason– I’m working on a book along with some good friends, when it will be ready, I don’t know yet… But it´s about Icelandic producers, especially those that encourage the very old methods that more and more are fading away.


RECIPE: Shrimp & Buttermilk. Bread crumbs, Wild chervil & Artic Char Roe.

Ingredients & Progression Recipe (6 pers.)

Shrimps.

250 gr raw shrimps

2 tablespoons neutral oil

1 teaspoon apple vinegar

Salt

In a bowl mix all together and season with salt

Butter milk.

300 gr buttermilk

Put the buttermilk on a cloth and let it stand in a cooler for 12 hour

Put the buttermilk from the cloth on a espuma bottle, put gas on it and shake well before service

Whey.

100 gr whey (use the one coming from the buttermilk)

1 gelatin sheet

Put the gelatin in cold water until soft. Clean in new water and then add to they whey

Heat until the gelatin is melted and then put in cooler until firm

Bread crumbs.

150 gr bread

20 gr butter

Salt

Cut the bread in cubes and fry it in the butter until crispy, season with salt an then put it on paper

Char roes.

6 teaspoons artic char roes.

Chervil oil.

50 gr wild chervil leafs

50 gr neutral oil

Put in blender and blend on full power until smoking hot (5-8 minutes). Put on cloth

Chervil.

Leafs of wild chervil for garnish.

 

 

 

FURTHER INFORMATION

Dill Restaurant/Chef-owner Gunnar Karl Gislason

Norraena husinu

Sturlugötu 5

101 Reykjavik (Iceland)

www.dillrestaurant.is

PRESS REVIEW/LINKS

1. Extreme Iceland (Presentation Dill restaurant)

2. T Magazine/NY Times, April 28, 2010

 

 

(NOTE: Credit for the photos: Dill Restaurant)

Tous Droits Réservés. Copyright Scoffier ©2008-2012

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Chef Claude Bosi/Photo: Hibiscus Restaurant

THE GAME-BRITISH & SCOTTISH CHEFS: CLAUDE BOSI 

The Brits have been preparing for some time the after Gordon Ramsay and Marco Pierre White cuisine. Not that there is a british style but we can certainly say that the emerging chefs are pro-locavore and that they are sourcing the best products of the island of Albion. In the very cosmopolitan London, the influences of young chefs are many, which give them a unique culinary personality. I discovered Chefs with a very modern style, who are  mastering the techniques as well as the French roots, Claude Bosi being one of them. Brett Graham on the other hand combines terroir, flavors and creativity a very nice surprise! As a counterbalance to London, I will present you a great chef of Edinburgh in Scotland, Martin Wishart. He has a strong French influences that works wonders with the best products of the land and sea. 

Born in Lyons (France), Claude Bosi moved to the UK in 1997. He learned his profession with the chefs Alain Passard and Michel Rostand. In 2000, he opened Hibiscus in the Shropshire (UK) and 7 years later he moved the restaurant to London. Presently, Hibiscus is one of the most acclaimed restaurants in England. Under the London’s drizzle hides the bright cuisine with The Passardien accents of Claude Bosi. Bosi is a craftsman that is respectful, thorough and who utilizes the best products in the market. Because of all that, he has earned a reputation both in England and abroad. He is already considered a great master in the kitchen and a worthy successor of Alain Passard (L’Arpège)

  

Q+A WITH CLAUDE BOSI (www.hibiscusrestaurant.co.uk ): 

1-(Scoffier) How do you explain the philosophy behind your cuisine and what is it main characteristics? 

CBosi- I work as closely with the seasons as possible, and source as much as I can from local producers, mainly within the UK. 

2-(Scoffier) I know that the chef Pascal Barbot (L’Astrance) take a lot of time choosing and picking his produces at the market. Do you spend as much of time to choose and pick your produces? 

CBosi- I spend a great deal of time choosing my ingredients, and I am lucky enough to be able to draw on the knowledge of my fantastic suppliers, who I have been working with for ten years. 

3-(Scoffier) Do you have a particular food (or products) that you often use in your recipes? 

CBosi- The ingredients I use always depend on what season it is. 

Squab Pigeon/Hibiscus Restaurant

*Squab Pigeon: roast squab pigeon, roasted chervil root, potato, coriander & passion fruit puree, tamarillo confit in muscovado sugar 

4-(Scoffier) Do you have a mentor (chefs or anybody else) that inspires you in your cuisine? 

CBosi- I have been greatly inspired Alain Passard, and I worked with him for 2 ½ years. 

5-(Scoffier) Do you have a particular flavour or taste from your childhood that is again memorable? 

CBosi- My Grandmother’s Vegetables Jardiniere. I have tried, but I cannot re-create the dish! 

6-(Scoffier) What do you eat when you are at home? 

CBosi- I spend very little time at home. I am either at work, or eating out! My kitchen staples though, are some crusty white bread, cheese and salad. 

7-(Scoffier) You participated at the Cook It Raw event (2009-2010) in Copenhagen and Collio initialized by René Redzepi (Noma). Are you also near of the nature and the local products that Redzepi and are you as strict in your recipes? Example: no olives oil etc. 

CBosi- René Redzepi has an individual and particular ethos to his cooking, and I have my own.  We are both, however, passionate about sourcing the best local produce available. 

Bosi+Chang,CIR2010/Photo: Per-Anders Jorgensen

8-(Scoffier) I seen your menu and the vegetables are omnipresent. How do you create your tasting menu? Do you think vegetables in first and meat or fish after? 

CBosi- The order I serve the tasting menu at Hibiscus is as follows: Raw, shellfish, vegetables, fish, offal, meat and then dessert, with the intention of building up the flavour at each stage.     

11-(Scoffier) Can you give us a detailed recipe (Signature dish) that is characterized the cuisine of Claude Bosi? 

CBosi- Please see the recipe for Carpaccio of Sea Bream 

12-(Scoffier) What is your goal (ambitions) as a chef or for the restaurant? Do you think about write a book, a television show, others? 

CBosi- My priority is to achieve a full restaurant for Lunch and Dinner, all year round. 

  

RECIPE: Carpaccio of Sea Bream 

Restaurant (interior)/Photo: http://www.hibiscusrestaurant.co.uk

 INGREDIENTS & PROGRESSION RECIPE 

-1 Tin of 400ml Black Truffle Jus 

-Chickens stock and liquice soft eating.  

-20 cl Almond oil 

-Splash sherry vinegar 

-100 g Black radish 

-2 Fillets of Sea Bream boned 

(Stages 1 to 4 can be done in advance (up to two hours) of the meal.  Stage 5 can then be added before serving) 

1. Put Truffle jus into saucepan, simmer slowly and reduce to consistency of syrup. 

2. Slice bream as thin as possible by working knife horizontally along top of fish. 

3. Thinly slice black radish using slot on cheese grater or on mandolin. 

4. On a cold plate, layer fish and radish. Refrigerate.              

5. Using a hand blender, blitz reduction of truffle jus and almond oil.  Add sherry vinegar to taste.  Do not add any salt or pepper to this dish as is not necessary. 

6. Drizzle vinaigrette over fish & radish. Serve 

  

FURTHER INFORMATION:   

-Hibiscus/Chef Claude Bosi 

29 Maddox Street 

London (UK), W1S 2PA 

www.hibiscusrestaurant.co.uk   

-Reviews :  

1. The Guardian by Jay Rayner, http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2007/nov/25/foodanddrink.shopping 

2. The Independent by John Walsh, http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/food-and-drink/reviews/hibiscus-a-chef-with-balls-399515.html 

-Video :  

1. Interview of Claude Bosi at Cook It Raw 2010 (Collio, Italy), http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7JWlEM61nzI 

  

Tous droits réservés. Copyright Scoffier © 2008-2010 

 

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