New Faces: Frida Ronge

Photo: Mattias Lindback

In March, Petter Stordalen’s new lifestyle hotel will open its doors at Brunkebergstorg, and as part of that we’ll see the ambitious launch of the restaurant Tak. Frida Ronge is responsible for the restaurant’s gastronomic direction and when we catch up with her she’s on the way to Japan to meet with suppliers, producers and partners. The concept at Tak is based on Nordic and Japanese influences and while rice vinegar, sesame oil and certain spices are imported from Japan, all the perishable foodstuff will be Swedish.

How did you decide on Tak’s concept?

Since we were to fill 1000 square meters over two levels, I immediately thought it was too much for one kitchen. So I came up with four proposals of how to develop this in the best way. It will be four different identities, but within one and the same concept. And I have to admit it’s the biggest restaurant I have worked with in my entire life.

Can you explain what we will be treated to?

The lower level will have a typical a’la carte restaurant with about 160 seats. Eventually a restaurant within the restaurant will be launched. On the second level of the restaurant we won’t take any bookings, and it will consist of a raw bar with tartars and sashimi and also some comfort food. We have finally gained access to a large terrace on the same level, where I hope to see yoga classes and such.

Could you give me your current view on Stockholm’s food and restaurant scene?

I love the food scene in Stockholm and the rapid pace of progress, with both small and large new restaurants opening. It also seems like the restaurants are all communicating to be able to source the best ingredients. And it’s great to see so many pop-up guest appearances and restaurants to help develop the scene.

F12 called it a day, then Frantzén and then Mathias Dahlgren’s Matsalen. There seems to be a trend away from the Michelin stars?

I don’t think the same demand for that type of restaurant exists anymore. That type of food needs a completely different level of preparing. I think people would rather go out to eat three times a week than once at a real fancy place. And to go to one of the places you mentioned can be likened to a trip to Japan. Many people will only do that perhaps once in their life.

For 2017, what do you think are the new trends to look out for?

I believe that the trend of tighter collaboration with producers and farmers will grow even more. To be able to enhance the quality at the restaurants we require a constant progress. I also hope that the fast food segment in Sweden will get a push so it becomes easier to obtain good and healthy food both fast and easily.
I really don’t have time to cook dinner seven nights a week. But you don’t want to have McDonald’s but perhaps a good sausage or salad, that still has high quality. I hope and believe that good quality food below 200 kronor is the future.