However, Annie can disclose one main ingredient from the dessert, namely the plum.
– The plum is a somewhat forgotten and underrated fruit. Already at the end of the summer, 70 kilo of plums from Österlen were pitted and individually frozen in halves and they will now come to use and will play a major part of the dessert. In addition, the peel from the plums will be used in a dry form.
– The taste concept and look of this year’s dessert to the Nobel has been the same as the first presentation that took place last summer 2021. Only minor details and flavours have been finetuned, says Annie Hesselstad.
A long wait
– It was March 2020 when the call from the Nobel Foundation came. I was at work and went out to the delivery dock to talk in private. I asked several times if they got the right number. Never in my wildest imagination had I dreamt about being asked to make the dessert for the Nobel dinner. The request was so grand and honouring that I had to request for some time to reflect before responding.
After having talked to her friend and previous Nobel banquet chef, Sebastian Gibrand, Annie said yes to the honourable request.
– There was no alternative. Of course I said yes!
Annie has longed for this day. It has been hard not to be able to talk about it for such a long time.
– Now I don’t have to make excuses to be able to test the dessert and prepare for presentations undisturbed. A lot had to be done after working hours when no one could see what I was working with. If anyone wonders what I was up to when I said “I have a few things on my plate…” this was it.
Creating a dessert for the Nobel banquet is not something you do on your own. For instance, Annie has been helped by Magnus Johansson who was responsible for the dessert at the Nobel banquets during the years 2006-2011.
– Magnus came out to me at Artipelag for the first presentation and tested everything. It meant the world to me. He reassured me early during the presentation and told me that everything will be fine, trust yourself. His support has been invaluable.
– In addition, I am delighted that I got to pick seven pastry chefs that will be working with me in the banquet kitchen.
When I heard that Jimmi Eriksson will be responsible for the first and main course I was so put to ease. He is confident, calm and together we are a really great team.
Head of pastry at Artipelag since 2019
Annie Hesselstad has worked at Artipelag for almost six years. It all started with stepping-in during the Christmas season 2016 and ended with an employment and in 2019 Annie became Head of Pastry.
For every exhibition, Annie creates an exhibition pastry, something that has become a signum for Artipelag.
– I would describe my style as classic with a modern touch. I often work with pure and simple flavours and make elegant pastries. I like to vary the flavours and assortment depending on season and holidays.
About Annie Hesselstad
Annie Hesselstad is in charge of the dessert. As a pastry chef, she was a member of the Swedish National Culinary Team in 2015 and 2016 and competed in the 2016 Culinary Olympics. She has lived and worked for many years in both France and Austria. In the beginning of the pandemic, she studied foraging and locally produced ingredients at Örebro University. Today she is the head pastry chef at Artipelag, an art gallery in the Stockholm archipelago, where her pastries are inspired by nature and the surrounding art exhibitions.
About the Nobel Prize banquet
• Some 1,250 guests will attend the banquet.
• The guests will sit at about 60 tables, with the placement of the chairs and tables having been measured with meticulous precision.
• This year’s banquet chef is Jimmi Eriksson and this year’s pastry chef is Annie Hesselstad.
• In the kitchen, 40 chefs will be preparing the banquet dinner for four days.
• There will be 190 servers, including 45 serving beverages.
• The tableware used at the banquet will consist of some 21,600 pieces, of which 5,400 glasses, 8,188 porcelain items and 8,100 items of cutlery.
• Setting the tables will be a full day’s work for 40 people.