From forest to plate
Fish from Baggensfjärden, a roof garden and honey from its own beehives. Artipelag’s kitchen uses produce sourced from nearby nature – and is very particular about enhancing flavours with the right beverages.
It’s a warm day and from the panoramic windows of the Artipelag Restaurant you can see the blue water of Baggensfjärden glittering in the sunshine. Oskar Moëll takes some of the wines that the restaurant serves out of the large wine cooler. He’s the restaurant manager and is responsible for all food and drink served in Artipelag Restaurant and Bådan Café & Pâtisserie, as well as at all events held here at the venue.
– We devote a great deal of energy to pairing the dishes on the menu with the right beverage. It’s all too easy to spoil an excellent dish with an unsuitable wine. You want to find that wow factor, when the dish tastes twice as good when you take a sip, says Oskar Moëll.
– There are some flavours that are more difficult to pair with the right beverage than others. It’s incredible difficult to find a good match for sweet woodruff or tomato, but we usually pull it off.
He started his career as a chef, but when he lost his enthusiasm for cooking, he stepped into the dining area instead. In the last decade, he’s worked as head sommelier at various restaurants and most recently as restaurant manager at Artipelag.
– What I like about working here is that we try to make food and drink with nature and not against it.
The minute Oskar Moëll says these words, a forest-inspired dish magically appears from the kitchen, consisting of wild mushrooms, berries, dried pine and creamed potatoes flavoured with mountain birch oil. Everything on the plate is locally sourced and organic.
– All the beverages we serve, except for the sparkling soft drinks, are also organic or even biodynamic. Obviously this has to do with the environment, but also the fact that eight per cent of the contents of a bottle of wine aren’t actually wine. They’re made up of acidity regulators, pesticides, colouring agents and similar. Organic or biodynamic wine feels completely different in your mouth. And your headache the next day is much kinder too, laughs Oskar Moëll.
At Artipelag, they only work with farmers and producers with whom they have a close relationship. Two or three times a year, for instance, they join forces with Värmdö Bryggeri to brew their own Artipelag beer.
– There’s some trial and error involved, but we usually succeed really well. We think the next flavour will be the return of an old favourite: spruce shoot. We’re just waiting for the spruce shoots to be perfect for flavouring beer.