Happy Swedish National Day! Since 2005, Sweden has been celebrating its National Day where Swedes everywhere take the day off to share in tradition and fly that great blue and yellow flag. Unlike a lot of countries, Sweden does not have an independence day since it was not previously reined over by another country, so its Riksdag (parliament) decided that apart from the traditional Swedish Midsummer, Sweden should have a day dedicated to honoring its people and pride.
Today, June 6th, is the day and to honor Swedish National Day, we’re starting off our day by highlighting Norda’s Executive Pastry Chef, Patrik Fredriksson, who heads the pastry department at Marcus’s new Swedish establishment in Gothenburg. Check out our interview with Patrik and his recipe for Swedish Princess Cake to help kick off your Swedish National Day celebration.
How did you get your start in pastry?
I always loved to be with mom in the kitchen when I was young so I think it’s where it all started. My mom has always been a very good cook, so she kept me interested in cooking.
When did you join Norda Bar & Grill?
I joined Norda from the start, when Marcus was first thinking of opening it up. When I met Jimmy Lappalainen, the Executive Chef at Norda, he told me about the hotel and I thought it would be fun and exciting to start something new. It would also be a way to showcase what I learned over my years of cooking.
What's the best thing about making beautiful desserts?
The best aspect is the ability to be creative. I always tell my colleagues to 'never stop thinking’ and ‘the sky is the limit,’ to encourage everyone to be as creative as possible. It’s so much fun that way; you never stop learning and you get to develop something new every day.
You're the Pastry Chef for the Swedish National Team and you've competed in the Culinary Olympics before. What are you most excited and nervous about for the upcoming competition? When is it?
There is only one thing on my mind right now, ‘I want to win the gold!’ But it’s hard there are many competing countries that are very good. We are training very hard with our team, about 4-5 days every month so when we get to the competition we will be well prepared. The competition is in October this year in Erfurt, Germany.
What's your favorite event for the Culinary Olympics?
I think both the cold and warm kitchens are fun; both are my favorites.
What is a good tip to make a great at-home dessert?
It doesn't have to be complicated or fancy...maybe something that uses some great local produce and fruits of the season.
What was the biggest pastry disaster that ever happened to you?
I remember once, 2 years ago, a waiter fell and dropped one of the wedding cakes on the floor, but I was on location when it happened, so I made a new one right away. But I was so stressed and worried I wouldn’t make it in time, but I made it just in time!
Want to make your own Swedish dessert, check out Patrik's recipe for Swedish Princess cake here.
Photos: flo_p and Patrik Fredriksson