Interview with Swedish chef Jacob Holmström

Jacob Holmström, the 32-year old Swedish chef was born and raised in a family of restaurant owners. Jacob is the owner of restaurant Gastrologik, which opened in Stockholm in June 2011 and got his first Michelin star two years later.

Jacob Holmstrom with teammate Sandy Sokalingum, of Constance Lémuria Seychelles

Jacob Holmstrom with teammate Sandy Sokalingum, of Constance Lémuria Seychelles

At the Culinary Festival Bernard Loiseau prize-giving ceremony in Mauritius this weekend, Jacob and his partner chef Sandy Sokalingdum, who presently works as chef de partie at Constance Lémuria in the Seychelles, finally learned that they had reached the second highest step on the winner’s podium.

‘Of course it is a little disappointing finishing second in the competition,’ Jacob tells me, ‘and saying that, I especially think of Sandy, who is a very talented chef, who ends up so close to the coveted prize of a stay in an European gourmet restaurant – and yet so far. But he is young, and I hope that he will be back next year. But saying that, I also must congratulate Masachi Ijichi and Dammika Sarath with their well-deserved win, which is even more impressive when you know that they had to work through an interpreter,’ Jacob says with a smile.

The past week has been a fabulous experience for Jacob – not only professionally, but also socially. ‘Among the many positive experiences of the Festival is meeting five very nice colleagues. And in spite of the fact that all of us have fought hard to win, I now leave Mauritius with five new friends from five European countries. The actual competition is unique in its format, and I have really enjoyed every minute of my stay, both inside the kitchens of Constance Belle Mare Plage as well as outside.

The location of the event is absolutely spectacular, the weather has been perfect, and the organisation of the competition flawless. In addition to having established new friendships, I also leave the resort with newfound taste buds and some new spices and vegetables, which I may well introduce in my own restaurant,’ the easygoing young Swede happily tells me.

I ask Jacob about his style of cooking. ‘In short it is simple, clean and focused on the produce,’ he says. ‘ I especially love cooking fish and shellfish, and in Gastrolologik we only use produce from Sweden – except seafood, which we get from the crystal clear waters of the Norwegian fjords. I find inspiration everywhere as most chefs. But the most important source is definitely the produce itself. And my 10 days of cooking and meeting new people here in Mauritius have definitely been inspiring in more ways than one.’

Interview by Peter Bojesen of Luxury Aficionados.

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