For two years back in the 1980s, I worked as a hot and cold chef in a restaurant in Göteborg. I enjoyed it and learned a lot. The restaurant was part of a large jazz club and didn’t have any ambitions whatsoever with what they offered guests. But I soaked up whatever I could from coworkers with more experience than I had (everybody) and learned a lot about basic cooking there. After a while, I knew enough to start getting creative within the boundaries of the kitchen’s recipes and that’s when my interest in cooking really took off.
If I also count the sweaty year before the aforementioned jazz club gig, which I spent as a short-order cook flipping fatty burgers, frying frozen schnitzels and serving them with drippy fries, I’d say I’ve got a reasonably good idea about what working in a kitchen is like.
As far as I can tell, kitchen life hasn’t changed much since I last put on an apron. The stress, the heat, the burns, the cuts – they’re all still there, regardless of where in the world you take a peek inside a busy kitchen.
Whenever I’ve got a gig shooting food for a restaurant, I also take note of the camaraderie and the kitchen staff’s ability – and willingness – to work together in an often ridiculously small space and produce an abundance of meals in an unreasonably short time frame.
I’ve just spent a couple of days being reminded of this here at Nösund Havshotell while filming and shooting stills for the hotel’s marketing team.
Shot the above during today’s lunch service with supremely dedicated Head Chef Fredrik and his camera-shy colleague Chef Birgitta.