Mathias Dahlgren won the world chef championship, Bocuse d’Or, already back in 1997 and today he’s one of Sweden’s most famous chefs. His restaurant Matsalen at Grand Hôtel in Stockholm was named one of the 25 best restaurants in the world. These days Mathias and his chefs also do catering. And sometimes they come to Swedish Lapland.
It’s April in the Mausjaur Sami district in Arvidsjaur. It’s warm and the snow is melting. The summer has more or less come crashing into the life of the forest Sami this year. Streams open up and snowmobiles are lost at sea. A big herd of reindeer are fed on a lake where the ice is becoming increasingly grainy. On a hill in the nearby forest two white-clad chefs are stirring a stew made of thinly sliced reindeer meat. Staffan Naess and Oskar Pettersson from Mathias Dahlgren are in the field tasting products. They have worked with Sami communities in the area for a couple of years, developing the reindeer product. The work is done partly to ensure the quality of the meat they serve themselves, partly to make reindeer a more well-known and available product on the market. But this week they are not only here for research purposes, but they are also cooking for visitors.