Food journey in Bohuslän with Badass Food Stories
For a few days in late spring 2021 Nicole Jacobsen and Gustaf Björlin visited Bohuslän to film inspiring material for their YouTube channel, Badass Food Stories. You can see all the films below in the article.
Nicole and Gustaf travel the country to meet people who are passionate about artisan food, sustainability and local ingredients. So a four day food and drink exposé in salt sprayed Bohuslän couldn’t have been more apt.
“We’ve been to Bohuslän before, but it really floors us each time we come. It’s so sublimely beautiful, with its turquoise waters and smooth rocks. Absolutely fantastic to be able to sit out in the evenings with a bottle of wine to share, enjoying the fresh sea breeze”, says Nicole.
Nicole and Gustaf’s food journey started in Grebbestad, where they checked in at Everts Sjöbod. The weather was gorgeous and the evening ended with a shellfish dinner to savour with the view of the sun setting over the turquoise waters of the of the archipelago. Everything on the seafood platter had of course been caught the very same day.
“There’s something extra special about freshly caught langoustines and oysters. They taste great just as they are – you don’t really need to add much else when the raw ingredient is of such high quality”, says Gustaf, who would happily visit Everts Sjöbod again.
“Next time we’d like to come here in September for the lobster season. Everts Sjöbod is a really cosy little boutique hotel where it’s easy to unwind with good friends.”
Photographer: Badass Food Stories
Seaweed – a speciality of Bohuslän
After the focus on seafood during the first evening it was, after a good night’s sleep, time to let another speciality of the region take the lead – namely seaweed. Linnea Sjögren is one of the many talented tourism entrepreneurs in Bohuslän who are passionate about their ingredient. She’s an expert in finding, harvesting, and using seaweed in different types of food applications. Linnea’s company Catxalot has supplied most of Sweden’s top restaurants and cookery competitions with seaweed for many years – a sustainable ingredient which will no doubt find its way into even more of our kitchens in the future.
“Linnea is a really inspiring woman. It was fantastic to see her dive and talk enthusiastically about the different kinds of seaweed, and then to watch her prepare some seaweed dishes. Seaweed truly feels like a “future food” that can be used not just in luxury restaurants but in our kitchens at home as well”, believes Nicole.
After spending time with Linnea the pair continued on to Fjällbacka and Stora Hotellet, where well known TV chef and restaurateur Thomas Sjögren (Swedish Chef of the Year 2015 and Battle of the Chefs winner 2018) was waiting, eager to talk about how he works with local ingredients. Stora Hotellet, which is in a lovely location looking out over the Fjällbacka archipelago, houses several restaurants. At Restaurant Mamsell Nicole and Gustaf joined Thomas as he prepared a few different dishes with some of his favourite ingredients – scallops, mackerel and locally grown greens from Klevsgård farm.
On to Smögen
The following day the team headed south to Smögen and Restaurant Skäret, also run by Thomas Sjögren, where there were langoustines and scallops from Norway on the menu. After lunch Nicole and Gustaf checked in at Smögens Havfsbad to prepare for the upcoming day’s filming.
The next morning’s meet up was with Jesper Jonasson of Smögenbryggar´n, for a visit to Smögen Ales brewery and tap-room. Here they make creative use of local ingredients by brewing beer with products from the sea, like seaweed, mussel shells and sea salt. The brewery uses water from nearby Lilla Dale reservoir and some of the malt comes from local farms.
“Incredibly inspiring to see the work Jesper and his colleagues do in their innovative brewery, which really gets to grips with circular and sustainable thinking”, says Nicole.
The Edible and The Drinkable Country at Ramsvik
After filming in Smögen the food journey continued on to Ramsvikslandet and Ramsviks Stugby & Camping. A bookable table, as part of The Edible Country campaign, has stood on the rocks overlooking the sea for the last couple of years, giving anyone who books it the chance to see for themselves how easy and enjoyable it is to make food outdoors using local ingredients. Thomas Sjögren has specifically created a recipe based on specialities from Bohuslän. The basic principle is that anyone booking The Edible Country package gets a basket of ingredients, a recipe and a cooking kit. Then it’s just a matter of getting out into the wild and seeing what it has to offer.
“Thomas led the way and found sea kale, juniper berries, wild onion, orpine, bladderwrack and other wild plants. They created a fantastic flavour combination that went really well with the delicious Matjes herring dish he made”, explains Nicole.
And if you have decided to try The Edible Country experience what better accompaniment could there be than to book The Drinkable Country as well. Bartender Josefine Thorén from Gothenburg was also there in Ramsvik. She had created, in the same spirit, a drink based on ingredients from Bohuslän that she proceeded to mix: A rhubarb and wood sorrel cocktail.
“A perfect thirst quencher. The wood sorrel grows wild and is very tart, just like the rhubarb. Josefine’s recipe was well balanced with sugar syrup, which made it a delicious and refreshing drink”, says Gustaf.