Sweden - Björn Persson
Maître Restaurateur
Koka: a modern fine-dining restaurant
" Koka's gastronomy is modern, western Swedish with distinct flavours of a few ingredients "

A dream come true: Björn Persson has always loved food and beverage so travelling and meeting with other people contributes to Björn’s success as a professional, chef and sommelier. His resumé, and that of Koka’s, is impressive with many awards over time. Restaurant Koka, former Kock & Vin in Göteburg is one of the few restaurants which has been in the Swedish White Guide’s Master Class for ten consecutive years.

Koka, four years ago, emerged as a modern fine dining restaurant. The Michelin Guide awarded it one star. No white tablecloths or cutlery on the table instead simple, stylish materials with Scandinavian origin. A smart construction in the ceiling together with leather covered tables silenced sounds from glass and cutlery to make a perfect atmosphere for conversation.

“It was my employees who suggested the change” says Björn, “They thought it was time to move on. I agreed.”

Koka’s gastronomy is modern, western Swedish with distinct flavours of a few ingredients. The main ingredient in each course needs to be centre stage. The menu includes five and seven course menus also an à la carte menu. Exciting dishes filled with rich content, fully understandable and priceworthy. New dishes appear depending on availability and season because the chefs “live for food and raw produce” as Björn proudly explains.

Cooking is both focused and filled with pleasure. Dishes are playful and technically advanced; luxurious taste without lots of white truffle and caviar. Ingredients are sourced locally from producers, farmers and life stock breeders hence at their best.

Interface between food and beverage is as important as the dishes. Wine importing is a key element of the business with 14 ecological wine producers in Europe supplying Koka to add an extra dimension to what is offered.

Björn talks about his fantastic, really dedicated employees who stay with him. Success came from changing the old restaurant into Koka. Björn is always pondering, with the support of his 74 employees, how are we thinking, does it add up to something, how can we manage this?

Björn is involved with both Chef of the Year and the Swedish Jeunes Chefs Rôtisseurs. He talks about the importance of good mentors for the competitors. In 2019 he was a tasting judge with great commitment during the International Jeunes Chefs Rôtisseurs in Calgary.

Besides Koka, Björn also runs Familjen (the Family) and a summer restaurant, Perssons på kajen (Persson’s on the dock). Having several restaurants is a challenge, says Björn, who prefers being creative than administering and managing.

“We think Koka is an excellent restaurant. Come and visit us, fully appreciate the experience then you’ll understand what we mean” summarizes Björn.

Catarina Offe
Conseiller Culinaire

Translation into English by Margareta Henry, Chargée de Missions Honoraire