IN VINO PÄRITAS –
Popping up in Stockholm
The spring of 2014 saw a new star rise on the Stockholm restaurant scene, a new idea based on the popup concept frequently used by fashion stores and art galleries that previously had hijacked disused locations to give them a new purpose. The pop-up phenomenon launched in a new way as POPupSTHLM premiered at Färgfabriken’s industrial artsy premises with the opening of top-notch Parisian bar and restaurant Le Mary Celeste.
A couple of nights of wining and dining with high-end French standards lured the very curious and dainty Stockholm foodies and wine lovers into its lair to enjoy some spectacular treats. With a set price, a set menu, delightful cocktails and perhaps the best atmosphere in town, the evenings were a total success. The team behind the concept, made up of production guru Elin Svartengren, urban gardener/grower Agnes Ek Stormgard and their floor staff, French chefs and cocktail maestros, all under the supervision and guidance of Daniella Illerbrand, had us all hankering for their coming projects this fall and winter.
And as my curiosity was raised to flood levels, rumours began about a move to the US, I had to take the pulse of project manager Daniella Illerbrand about their upcoming plans.
Daniella has previously been working with among others Matthias Dahlgren at Grand Hotel in Stockholm. She has plenty of experience in the restaurant and food business, and is an inveterate wine lover.
I know you have recently been spending time in Nashville, USA. Tell us a little about your trip and what the outcome of the visit will hold for us POPupSTHLM fans.
Daniella Illerbrand: Our trip to Nashville was amazing, a truly new experience,. So much is changing in their food culture, and so fast. New restaurants are creating some really magical food and being very inspired by the Southern way of cooking, but with a new twist.
I think our visit produced many great things for the future, we are planning on bringing three different restaurants over here, starting with one this year. They are all dramatically different, so one can come to all the different events and experience something new every time.
We have now decided on the first restaurant but will be waiting a few more weeks to make it public, but it is going to happen in the first weekend of December.
Your initial pop-up was a real success. What do you expect for the coming projects?
DI: To keep bringing restaurants here that you maybe wouldn’t normally be able to visit, and to make sure that it is in a price range that is not too expensive.
Your first collaboration with Parisian restaurant Le Mary Celeste was hosted on the beautiful site of Färgfabriken. What other locations are in the pipeline for the future?
DI: Well, we partner up with Ett Hem and Skeppsholmen, so a few pop-ups might be at their locations. We are also always looking for other places in order to find the most suitable location for the restaurants that we bring over.
You have entered a few collaborations and taken on some partners in the project. How will they contribute to the menus set by the invited restaurants?
DI: They will all contribute in different ways. For instance, Gourmet Food will provide whatever the chefs need in order to create their menus. As far as setting the menus, that is all up to the chefs; our partners are only making sure that they get the best produce and wine available.
And Granit will help us create the right setting for the room.
With such a background as yours, you must have had the chance of tasting some real nice bottles during the years. Any special one you recall and remember and for what reason?
DI: I will always remember my first Opus One, as it is why I started in this industry. It was 1985 and pretty spectacular, one of the best vintages ever produced and it moved me. But there are many great wine memories, most of them linked to a specific happening in my life. That is usually the way for me.
What do you normally choose in your glass, at home and out dining?
DI: I have become quite a habitual drinker as of lately, I know what I like and tend to stick to it. At home I like a good Riesling, mostly German. Or a good Pinot Noir. When I’m in a restaurant I tend to look at the food and choose whatever would go best with it. I like a lot of different things and really hate looking at what is trendy. I appreciate a restaurant that can show me a range of wines on their list – it doesn’t have to be a lot of wines but rather there are a few different styles to choose from.
What is your own favourite food and wine combinations? Would you please give three suggestions on what bottles to open this this fall/winter for our readers.
DI: For this fall I’ll drink Matassa Cuvée Romanissa to go with some good hams and cheese. Or else I will make a good stew and enjoy it with a bottle of Langhe Nebbiolo from La Spinetta. I also would recommend some cod and root vegetables with a bottle of Ken Wright Cellars Willamette Valley.
Images: Pär Strömberg
The best way to find out what POPupSTHLM have in store is to sign up by emailing them on firstname.lastname@example.org and you will be the first to know the name of the restaurant and the location for upcoming events.
More information on POPupSTHLM can be found at http://popupsthlm.wordpress.com/, and you can find @popupsthlm on Facebook and other social media.
Matassa Cuvée Romanissa – (BS 73161 – 296 kr)
Langhe Nebbiolo from La Spinetta (nr 92248 – 189 kr)
Ken Wright Cellars Willamette Valley (BS 75303 – 299 kr)