Erik Videgård
Erik Videgård

Expert of the week

Erik Videgård

Swedish restaurateur, author and food authority with a love for Asian cuisines.

Updated on May 27, 2024 | World of Mouth team

Erik Videgård is a Swedish restaurateur and author credited for helping to introduce Sichuan cuisine to Sweden. Videgård’s early culinary career included bussing tables and making sandwiches at the famed Alexandra nightclub in Stockholm. He went on to become a butler, sommelier, and restaurant manager before buying his first restaurant in 1992. He is a co-founder of The Swedish Guild of Sommeliers, has authored seven cookbooks, and features as a TV chef for Sweden’s largest morning show on TV4.

Please introduce yourself to our members.

I'm a restaurateur, chef, cookbook author, TV-chef, restaurant and hotel consultant and cooking teacher with 40 years of experience in the catering business.

Tell us about your current project.

I currently don't own any restaurants, though I've previously had 14 and been involved in another 20, give or take. Instead I’m now focusing on helping others, teaching and developing, doing cooking television and recording cooking videos. I do a lot of guest appearances at other restaurants cooking mainly food from Asian countries such as Sichuan-Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, Thai and Korean.

Tell us about the restaurant scene in Stockholm.

Stockholm is a city with a fast growing restaurant scene, in recent years focusing on smaller, high-quality dining. There are tons of new restaurants popping up with moderate prices and innovative ideas. There are "bistro"-trend restaurants, wine bars and Asian style eateries in abundance often packed with guests.

What are your favorite restaurants in Stockholm and why?

Babette - Wine bar / bistro style with simple but innovative food and great pizza. Främmat - Like coming to your favorite Parisian bistro, order lots of small courses from the blackboard and enjoy with natural wines.Surfers Stockholm - The best Chinese food and drinks in town. Mainly Sichuanese cooking and an impressive selection of tea and baijiu.Teatergrillen - probably the most beautiful venue serving classic dishes. Operabaren - opened in 1961 and hasn’t changed since. Beautiful room with top of the line service and homely fare.Bistro Sûd - your local eatery situated in the south part of Stockholm "Söder", bohemian-chic and a place to watch the artistic crowd.

What’s a new restaurant or hidden gem in Stockholm that you think is doing great things?

The sister restaurant of "Främmat" called "Bacchanale" recently opened in a derelict part of the city. It promises a lot and I'm certain it will be a hit.

What’s your favorite kind of restaurant and why?

Easy going with a high level of professionalism both in the kitchen and dining room.

What are your favorite food cities and your favorite restaurants in those cities?

Paris – Buvette for breakfast, Clamato for seafood and Champagne, Chez Georges for the traditional vibe, Golden Poppy for a glimpse of Dominique Crenns genius.

New York – Atomix for the mere experience, Frenchette for the crowd, Roberta’s for the Pizza.

Hanoi – no real restaurants but any street food vendor you can think about.

What is your favorite dish and where is your favorite restaurant to have it?

Depending on what you're seeking, the most memorable: A red boat in the jungle in Thailand, a woman serving goat blood soup with noodles and fish balls.

Most romantic: A booth at Drakkar in Deauville, Normandy.

Best of the best: Frantzén in Stockholm. Commentary unnecessary.

Who is an up-and-coming chef you are keeping an eye on?

Gustav Leonhardt, winner of Swedish Chef of the year as a 25-year old in 2021. Gustav has refined his cooking and thinking and is heading for great things.

Who is a food expert whose restaurant recommendations you’d like to see?

Keith McNally, just for the fun of it since AA Gill is no longer with us.

Find Erik Videgård on Instagram: @videgard

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