Tom Hallberg

“I always had a stomach ache the hours before service, but when the evening was over and everything had gone well I’d walk home in the night feeling euphoric”

Tom Hallberg, chef AVEQIA Stockholm

“Kroppkaksboden” in Öland – this is where Toms’ first strong food memory comes from. A deep bowl with cream and lingonberry jam, a knob of butter that’s allowed to melt over the dumplings and into the cream…. – those dumplings were amazing.

When we ask Tom about why he decided to become a chef he tells us that he enjoyed baking when he was little. Above all he says he loved using the timer whilst baking to be as effective as possible! He never thought about cooking as a possible profession, but rather as a way out of his school fatigue. He didn’t understand the attraction of the profession until he did his work experience in the last year. He says that during the first days he still didn’t get it, but as soon as he was working evening service he was hooked!

“There was this unbelievable camaraderie and a feeling of being part of something great!”

I always had a stomach ache the hours before service, but when the evening was over and everything had gone well I’d walk home in the night feeling euphoric.

We discuss what inspires him and he says that he’s inspired both by people who are a little bit nerdy and obsessed with what they do, as well as people with a strong professional pride. When he was in Japan a couple of years ago he was deeply inspired by the culture. He says that “In Japan it feels as if there’s no point in doing anything at all unless you do your best”

The greatest inspiration comes from all the great colleagues that he’s met over the years and of course – through going out to eat often!

I like relaxed dining with great food. I like Lilla Ego. Totemo Ramen for  lunch. Sturehof if I’m celebrating and Flippin’ Burger the day after the celebrations!

OK, now tells us about a fun memory from the kitchens!

“My first kitchen memory was when I was grilling burgers at the F12- terrace. I was 18 years old that summer and F12 was the hottest club in Stockholm. I was going to spend the summer outdoors, flipping burgers with Danyel Couet. I really felt that I was at the peak of my career!”

When asked about what advice he’d give to a young chef today Tom says that the most important thing is to do your best all the time, work efficiently and cleanly – and be prepared to sacrifice all your free time. After a few hard years the world will be your oyster!

Working at AVEQIA is great he says, it’s a relaxed place where you get to meet and inspire many different types of people. No matter how experienced a cook you are there is always something new to learn. The most important thing is that you try new things and have fun! I’m convinced it beats both rounders and “julbord” when it comes to teambuilding!

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