Sweden - Johansson's
Tällberg, August 15, 2020
A culinary delight
" Maître Hôtelier Jerk Åkerblad belongs to one of the traditional innkeeping families "

Over 200,000 people in Sweden have Johansson as their last name but only one restaurant has this name. Named after the first owner, the restaurant is part of Tällbergsgården in the county of Dalarna. It offers both a wide range of exceptional culinary delights and a view over Lake Siljan with spectacular sunsets all year around.

About 200 people live in the village of Tällberg, 400 have weekend cottages and hotels have about 1,000 beds available. At the beginning of the last century Tällberg was a rural village. With the coming of the railway the beautiful village was “discovered” thus changing it from a rural village to a tourist town.

Even artists and craftsmen have found their way there. Their work, together with the village atmosphere, constitutes the very image of life in Dalarna. Even with all the tourists quality has been retained, the craftspeople keep high standards. The hotels are well maintained. Their upkeep is immaculate with extra care focused on the food.

Maître Hôtelier Jerk Åkerblad belongs to one of the traditional innkeeping families. He grew up in Åkerblad’s Inn run by his parents. Eventually he started culinary school and landed jobs in some of the best restaurants in Stockholm. Probably the most exciting moment was when Tore Wretman, one of the founders of Chaîne in Sweden, offered Jerk a job. “I didn’t think I would manage but Tore believed in me”, he remembers.

Since childhood Jerk’s future was staked out for him to be a hotelier. The same for his brother Anders who runs Åkerblad’s while Jerk and his wife Carina run Tällbergsgården. The two brothers run their hotels in cooperation with a healthy and constructive competition. “We beat each other up as children” Jerk remembers, “that is all resolved now”. There are four young children in the family. Grandfather Arne is trying to figure out how he can give each one of them their own hotel when they grow up. All in all, four more hotels are needed by the time they are old enough!

At Johansson’s everything is made from scratch. The menu includes recipes from Dalarna, the rest of Sweden with classic techniques being used. Focus is on produce from nearby nature. Dishes are inspired by what the season can offer together with catch of the day. Meat and pork from Dalarna, fresh fish from Swedish waters, vegetables from nearby farms and their own garden. Berries and mushrooms are picked locally. During summer butter, cheese and sour cream are delivered from Karl-Tövåsens fäbod*. “We feel privileged to be able to work with raw ingredients produced with so much loving care”.

Hospitality and love of food are in Jerk’s blood. The atmosphere in the house exudes culture from Dalarna. The locals are faithful regulars with other guests coming from all over the country and further afield. “Earlier we were able to rest up during spring and fall but there are no off-seasons anymore”, Jerk tells us. Peak season is Christmas and summer but both hotel and restaurant are visited all year around.

“We continuously work for progress and Johansson’s is known for its focus on food”, Jerk says. We want to raise the bar, renovate and we have opened up the kitchen to come closer to our guests. A new sample menu will be presented in the Autumn.

Their reputation is reaching countries outside Sweden. Both Vogue and Italian lifestyle magazines have visited. Maybe time for you too.

Catarina Offe,
Conseiller Culinaire

Translation into English by Margareta Henry, Chargée de Missions Honoraire

*Fäbod: Huts and fields often situated far from the farm for keeping the livestock during summertime to save grazing at home for the winter. Life was very hard, primitive in fact. Gradually they disappeared over time but lately they are back. Some are now open to show life as it once was.