“The minute I set foot in the kitchen I knew – this was it!”
Sonny Tapper. Chef, AVEQIA Stockholm
Sonny Tapper was born in Malung in Dalarna, but he grew up in Uppsala. He enjoyed food and cooking throughout his youth, but fell seriously in love with food during his travels in South Korea. The whole experience was so different from life in Sweden, just walking around at night, music pumping, bright neon lights and crazy crowds everywhere. And the food, the food that’s so filled with character and depth! He says it was so foreign, the whole concept of food is so different to what we experience in Sweden with our Nordic palate. At the same time it all made sense for him, in South Korea food was about well being and caring.
Sonnys journey into the profession was nothing he engineered, it just happened. It was during his travels in Australia when he was asked by a friend to help out in a kitchen, doing the dishes. He exclaimes;
As soon as I set foot in that kitchen I knew – this is it!”
The feeling of belonging was instant and he knew then that he would make the kitchen his life.
Sonnys philosophy on food is pretty simple – it has to be natural. Whatever ingredients or produce he’s using, he wants it to be the right time and place for using them. He prefers the food cooked in its original state – he feels that when you keep a product intact you achieve the best flavours. He doesn’t have a favourite ingredient, but believes in combinations of flavours. There is a beauty in everything he says. BUT….
“…you can never go wrong with truffles, you can have truffles on everything, it’s just a shame it’s so incredibly expensive!”
We ask Sonny what inspires him – his answer is that there are no limits to what can inspire him. It can be a conversation with his mum, a tv-programme or to be out in nature. He doesn’t go looking for inspiration, it just appears!
One particular person has influenced him a lot though, and that is chef Mikael Jönsson at one star Hedone in London. His philosophy is simple; you cannot cook fantastic food without fantastic produce. For Mikael it’s almost an obsession to search and find outstanding produce. And he showed people that it’s so much more than just what’s on the plate, that there is a story behind. All produce start somewhere, grow somewhere and is then harvested somewhere by someone. And that somewhere and someone really makes the difference. It can be with love for what they are doing or it can simply be a matter of making money.
When we talk about cooking as teambuilding Sonnys response is that it is phenomenal! He says that the joy that’s created when you can discuss and share an experience is living proof that cooking food together is deeply rooted in us. He says; we’ve come a long way from the first campfires to 3 Michelin stars!
“I think our guests understand that it’s not just about food and cooking, but about the shared memory created through gastronomy!”