Sweden - Marcus Bremdahl
Stockholm, October 19, 2020
Surrounded by art
" The upper floor is dominated by one giant painting "

KB - Konstnärsbaren (The Artist’s Bar) - is the ‘in place’ where the cultural elite hangout, being a home cooking stronghold in the best downtown Stockholm location next to Louis Vuitton. Regular customers are now joined by young people appreciative of KB’s quiet atmosphere after years of hanging out in noisy, popular places.

Venetian-styled with Moorish elements KB was finished in1899. From the beginning it was planned to be a place where artists could have a “buffet” which eventually lost its novelty resulting in the ground floor restaurant. The ultimate sense of enjoyment in combination with taste and visual impression was the idea. Walls are painted by famous artists. The upper floor is dominated by one giant painting created one evening when artists decided to drink, eat and paint! KB has sold art which is hung on the walls and regularly refreshed.

However, time came to breathe new life into KB which was a huge responsibility needing the right chef.

This chef’s backstory
Marcus Bremdahl enrolled in his local culinary school as he couldn’t think of what else to do. In his hometown lack of good restaurants, challenging places to work and inspiring chefs didn’t help. It wasn’t the best start for a potential chef.

Taking a seasonal job in the ski paradise Sälen. Here, by cooking and training 24/7, his culinary education was brought up to scratch. Well-known chefs Pelle Johansson at Restaurant Ulla Winbladh and Jurgen Grossmann at Restaurant GQ became important coaches to Marcus. He is happy it turned out the way it did. And so are we!

Curating the cultural treasure which is KB was a challenging assignment given to Chef Bremdahl. Starting as he meant to continue new tasting spoons were his first purchase. Second, and a much bigger project, was the total renovation of the kitchen to modernise it and create a good workspace for employees.

“We want young, hungry chefs” says Maître Rôtisseur Marcus. Ones who want to compete as the experience gained benefits the restaurant. Regularly competing in Young Chef of the Year he walks his talk. He loved coaching the Swedish Junior National team to the World Culinary Cup and the Stockholm Culinary team to the World finals. Each year he coaches at least one young chef to compete in Sweden’s Young Chef of the Year and Chef of the Year.

With restaurant numbers decimated by COVID-19 Marcus had time to hone his skills getting to the final of Chef of the Year. The tasks set were interesting especially to make one cold and one hot dish with rabbit, a type of meat quite unusual in Sweden. Marcus shared that he had fun throughout the competition despite the final day not being his best. It was great learning as Marcus is more used to coach than compete.

Back in the kitchen at KB the art of cooking is built on classic Swedish produce, a concept Marcus is passionate about. The daily menu reflects this. Guests are returning to enjoy good food in a warm atmosphere in a modern restaurant whose roots date back to 1899.

Marcus’ good advice to all young chefs: “Be curious and don’t be afraid to fail. Be humble and try to understand that you have a lot to learn. That’s what makes the cooking profession so unbelievably exciting!”

Catarina Offe
Conseiller Culinaire

Translation into English by Margareta Henry, Chargée de Missions Honoraire