Sweden - Roger Hjälm
Maître Rôtisseur
K as in Katrinelund

By Lake Hjälmaren’s south shore you will find the beautiful Katrinelund hotel, restaurant and spa.

How did Roger Hjälm come to be there? He had sold his two restaurants and his future career path was going to be the family plumbing business. Or was it? A telephone call changed everything. The question asked was: “how much to put Katrinelund Sjökrog on the map?” - Roger named an amount and got the answer “you’re on!” … the rest is history.

At the first board meeting with his future partners, Lennart and Pia Carlsson, respectively developer and interior designer, Roger says it was “Love at first sight”.

The challenge began: a kitchen without storage with 400 hungry guests descending for lunch from the beach, not to mention renovation of main building. The result was a high class, well-known inn. This six year project has brought Katrinelund international acclaim which attracts highly-qualified chefs.

Roger and his gastronomic chef, Anders Johnsson, wanted to give their food a unique expression with an iconic taste. Applying key words - “joy”, “humility” and especially “courage” - make the food so out of the ordinary.

Then there are the ingredients from the nature-rich locality, such as: Lake Hjälmaren pike-perch; their own pigs at a nearby farm; local beef and lamb; wild duck and deer; a vegetable farmer’s produce (of which they purchase virtually all he grows); mushrooms, berries and nettles picked by the locals. Thirty local producers provide Katrinelund with the best products.

For the drinks, world-wide organic wines are a must; beer comes from private importers and there are plans for an on-site micro-brewery; Swedish-made spirits are well represented in the bar.

Accessed by land, boat, helicopter or seaplane, Katrinelund ensures that once visited you will want to return. Weekend guests come for a great gastronomic experience, atmosphere (with surprises always being added) and activities such as cooking and wine tasting.

Focused on attracting young people to the service industry, Roger and other restaurant owners run a highly successful project introducing this potential career to senior school pupils.

Roger and Anders have a fantastic team. ”The best place to work in the world” says Hanna the receptionist and this positive thinking is contagious. That Katrinelund is well worth a trip not only for the guests but also the staff is confirmed by everyone. “We have a car pool and it takes a while to commute but it’s worth it”, Hanna explains and her colleagues agree.

That Roger chose to be a chef is because sitting still is impossible. “It might be a bit hard for the people around me though”, he reflects. I can personally assure you that for Katrinelund’s guests his choice has been very successful!

Catarina Offe
Conseiller Culinaire

Photos courtesy of Roger Hjälm, (c) Katrinelund Gästgiveri & Sjökrog and (c) Bianca Brandon-Cox