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winter 2016 the grogs the guest of gold skilleby trädgård sunna jonsdotter c l o s e t o n at u r e & history

the gastronomy • the history • the people





wenty-one years have somehow passed since we took our first faltering steps as restaurateurs out on Oaxen island in Stockholm’s southern archipelago. A lot of things has changed since then, and we have left the island to become residents of Djurgården in Stockholm. Our philosophy, however, is the same as it always was. Our love for creativity, sustainably and ethically produced ingredients are key concepts that will always remain with us.

Sustainability is something that runs throughout our organization, from the building and its furnishings to the food we serve. To avoid unnecessary transportation we have chosen sustainable materials that are found in Sweden, and we only buy European wines from a carefully selected range of small vineyards. We separate our waste, food waste is turned into biogas and the premises are kept at the right temperature using environmentally friendly geothermal heating and a heat recovery system. as far as possible, and most of what you find on your plate has been considerately produced. Some of the ingredients that we prepare in our kitchens has been grown here on Djurgården or in the areas immediately surrounding the city. The wealth of species to be found on our

We strive to use organic ingredients

doorstep is astonishing, and we will never reach the end of our hunt for exciting new ingredients and flavours. All in order to create an experience that is as genuinely holistic as possible – an experience that will remain with you for a long time to come.

That is also the idea behind the newspaper that you

are holding in your hand right now. Using inspiring stories, we hope to provide an insight into our life’s work and what we are passionate about. In this first issue you will meet some of the people who make all this possible, as well as biodynamic vegetable grower Frida Thörn who runs Skilleby Trädgård along with her husband Martin Fellkvist and skilled ceramicist Sunna Jonsdotter – it’s on her china that your dishes are served in Oaxen Krog. We also take you on a historical journey back to the time when this area was full of life both in the shipyard and on the water. Enjoy the reading and please join us for the next chapter in our story!

Agneta Green, Magnus Ek and staff

Oaxen island. Our origins lie in the 12-hectare island of Oaxen, to the east of Mörkö in Himmerfjärden just south of Södertälje. Oaxen is not an ordinary island in the Stockholm archipelago. Similar to the area where we are situated now, the island have an industrial past with a long history of limestone mining.


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ith their genuine sustainability philosophy, sure instinct for ingredients and design as well as a personal commitment that extends down to the smallest detail, Magnus Ek and Agneta Green have created a restaurant that has resonated throughout the world. Join us as we share the couple’s gastronomic journey from starting up a restaurant on a small island in the archipelago to winning their second Michelin star.


Magnus Ek and Agneta Green’s paths cross in Skåne

in southern Sweden, where they begin their shared journey to gastronomic heights and the absolute top drawer of the restaurant world.


Oaxen’s reputation spreads beyond the country’s

borders and in this year the restaurant is included on the list ”The World’s 50 Best Restaurants” for the first time, where it remains for five successive years.


was where it all started. On the little island of Oaxen outside Mörkö in Stockholm’s southern archipelago, the couple take over the summer restaurant Oaxen Skärgårdskrog in the old manager’s house. Early on they began experimenting with ingredients and herbs that they found on the island and in its surrounding area, and matching the dishes with suitable wines.

Himmerfjärden fjord


weighing 140 gross tonnes, gets a taste of Swedish waters for the first time as it becomes part of Magnus and Agneta’s business and begins its transformation from a small home into a boutique hotel. Later the same year the first guests spend the night in its cabins.

The 35-metre riverboat Prince van Orangiën,


After 17 years Magnus and Agneta feel that they have come to the end of the line on the island. Instead they decide to start looking for a restaurant location in a more central part of Stockholm. Partly this is because it will allow them to open all year round – something that was impossible on the island.


On 1 October 2011 the final dishes are served on the island


The newly constructed building right next to Beckholmen Bridge and set in the new Djurgården shipyard marina is ready to move into. The building, which in addition to the restaurant Oaxen Krog (opened on 7 May) now also accommodates the newly added bistro Slip (opened on 30 April), breathes industrial history both inside and out and is completely in harmony with the surrounding buildings. Oaxen Krog & Slip wins not just the Gulddraken restaurant award from newspaper Dagens Nyheter, but also the prize for Business Restaurant of the Year.


In less than two years, Oaxen Krog gains a second

Michelin star – something that they are hugely proud of.

of Oaxen. In December the couple open the Oaxen Skafferi deli on Mariatorget, a square in Stockholm, where they mainly sell charcuterie and sausages that they produce themselves along with hung and tenderized meat from small local producers. The business is wound up at the beginning of 2014 in order to focus fully on Oaxen Krog & Slip.


gains its first long-awaited star in the Guide Michelin. At the same time, the Slip is awarded a BiB Gourmand. The same year the building is nominated as Stockholm Building of the Year 2014 and Oaxen Krog is awarded the Gulddraken award for the second year.

On 12 March Oaxen Krog

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photo: erik olsson T e x t: På l J o h a n s s o n

tre kockar barbecue sauce. It all began at

Celeriac and chives cooked in cheese whey with sorrel & black cabbage

the Oaxen Skafferi deli, where three friends, all of whom were chefs – Magnus, Johan and Mats – wanted to create the ultimate barbecue sauce to complement the meat they sold. Starting with the chefs’ favourite ingredients such as smoked oil, chilli, ginger and sesame oil, Magnus experimented until he came up with the sauce that is still served at Oaxen Slip today. Have you noticed that you can buy a bottle from our “mini-deli” to take home with you? It’s a “Medium Hotzky-Botzky” sauce that works with most things.

agnus Ek has been interested in food since childhood. At the age of 12 – when many boys are trying to choose between becoming a policeman or a fireman – Magnus already knew what he wanted to be: a chef. His interest in nature was also awoken at an early age, with innumerable walks in the forest and trips with his parents to pick mushrooms and berries. At the time, he didn’t always appreciate this as much as he does now. – These days I love getting out into nature and I’m always looking for an excuse to get outside. But I rarely just go for a stroll – I like to have a purpose to my trip, such as looking for a herb, a particular twig or mushroom, says Magnus, who usually spends around an hour and a half a day on his “foraging trips”.

Oaxen’s food philosophy was established 21 years ago on the island where the restaurant was then located and is based on a love of local produce and what is produced nearby. Contrary to the prevailing gastronomic culture at the time, the couple considered locally produced ingredients to be more exclusive than imported ingredients and this is what they chose to focus on.

– The philosophy is to use and explore nature, and to get as close to it as possible when preparing our food. It’s an incredible feeling to use ingredients that you have grown or picked yourself. (Allemansrätten) does not apply on the royal island of Djurgården, but they have obtained permission to pick certain herbs on the island. For the past year they have also had their own cultivated plot, the Oaxen “farm” in the northern part of the island. One of the first things that they did was to send off soil samples for analysis. The soil proved not only to be free from toxins and contaminants, but to their delight was classed as top quality soil for cultivation. – The farm will be developed over three years. This year we tested out around 20 crops and we aim to be self-sufficient in certain vegetables within a few years. Some of our staff will also run it and spend a couple of working days each week out on the farm. As well as being a fantastic source of inspiration for my cooking, it gives us unique ingredients and adds value to the restaurant. The fact that growing things is also hugely enjoyable is purely a bonus.

The right to roam

wine & spirit

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photo: linnea lindblad T e x t: På l J o h a n s s o n


Vodka & birch leaf tonic

Magnus’s choice is this refreshing drink made with vodka, birch leaf tonic and a wedge of lemon. The vodka is served in a tumbler with ice and you add the birch leaf tonic yourself, squeezing in your own wedge of lemon to suit your own preferences and taste.


f course, it’s not just the food to which we attach great importance. Here at Oaxen Krog & Slip, drinks also play a prominent role. In this issue we have decided to highlight a fun element behind the bar – our Swedish grogs. The drinks menu at the Slip is a bit different to what you are probably used to. Classic mixed drinks and cocktails have had to move aside to make room for unique Swedish grogs made with our own recipes. The bar has around a dozen different variants, using the usual spirits such as gin, rum, bourbon, tequila or vodka as a base. Taking these as a starting point, we then created the grog mixers to go with them – resulting in lemonade-style drinks with various flavours that we make ourselves. – People don’t usually pay much attention to what goes into the grog mixer. Generally they are just something artificial, sweet and not good for you that are not always of high quality. That’s something we wanted to change, so we created our own grog mixers using natural ingredients and flavours such as lemon and ginger, sea buckthorn and burnt honey cola, explains Magnus, the creator of the grog mixers.

Making our own grog mixers is also part of our concept of sustainability – partly because then you know what went into the drinks, and partly because it avoids unnecessary transport. The drinks have gone down very well with guests. Many people appreciate having an element that is a bit different and trying flavour combinations they would not otherwise have had the chance to taste – and the fact that it quite simply makes the perfect start or end to a charming evening.

Meet wine connoisseur Mathilda Mathilda Flack has worked in the restaurant trade since she was a student at the local restaurant school in her former hometown of Katrineholm. At Oaxen Krog & Slip you will find this positive, happy girl serving in Oaxen Krog, where she has worked for just over a year. After upper secondary school she trained as a sommelier at Restaurangakademien, coming second in her year – for which she was rewarded with a trip to Burgundy. – It was great fun and it was perfect for me because my favourite grape is pinot noir from that region. They’re easy-drinking wines that go with most dishes and are easy to match with food. Even when she is not at work, cooking and good wine play a big part in Mathilda’s life. She and her boyfriend, who is a chef, often cook together – preferably accompanied by a French wine. For a break from such domestic bliss she likes to put on a pair of running shoes and complete a circuit of Kungsholmen.

oaxen no. 1



Oaxen Slip The first place you come to when you visit us is our bistro, the Slip. The name harks back to the slipway

building that was once on the site. The spacious premises let in a magical light through the panoramic windows, while the beautiful suspended boats and corrugated sheet walls recall the history of this area as an industrial shipyard and its heritage. In Oaxen Slip we serve our interpretation of Nordic bistro fare, hearty and uncomplicated dishes, many of which are meant to be shared with good company. A popular place to meet for relaxed lunches, cosy brunches and companionable evening meals. In addition to our regular tables we have two community tables that can be used by larger parties, either separately or together. If you are more of a spontaneous kind of person, we have 10 drop-in seats at the bar.

Whole rabbit from Vreta with garlic and mustard sauce.

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photo: Per ranung


Prince van Orangiën Hotel On 1 April, as spring arrives and the weather becomes a little warmer, we will once again

welcome guests on board our charming floating hotel the Prince van Orangiën. The vessel is moored on the other side of the Beckholm Sound, just a stone’s throw from Oaxen Krog & Slip. “The Prince” was built in 1935 at the Vahali shipyard in the Dutch town of Gendt, and was originally a home and office for a shipowner who travelled around Europe with his fleet of dredgers. We are her fourth owner, and we tried to change as little as possible when transforming this meticulously kept craft from a home into a unique and romantic boutique hotel. There is truly nothing like it in Stockholm. The individually designed cabins have details typical of the era in materials such as oak, ebony, rosewood and Belgian slate, as well as five different kinds of marble with gold leaf. Our guests enjoy a wonderful night’s sleep in the cabins’ Carpe Diem beds.

The Club Room Oaxen Krog With the bustling city a comfortable distance away, the calm of Oaxen Krog invites you to

enjoy an unforgettable taste experience which lies at the heart of what we do. This is where we are carrying on the legacy and philosophy of our days on the island. We explore what is growing rampant on Djurgården and select unique ingredients from our very closest surroundings to the furthest edges of the Nordic region. Quality, flavour, sustainable agriculture and humane livestock farming are essential requirements of the ingredients that make it into our pots and pans. Starting from the uniqueness and soul of these ingredients we create playful, beautiful compositions; combined with the drinks and the setting, they create a complete experience that will not easily be forgotten.

On the floor above Oaxen Krog is the Club Room, with its stunning views across Stockholm’s harbour entrance and the hills of Söder stretching away on the horizon. The Club Room provides the perfect dining room for those looking for a little privacy, whether for a business dinner, brunch with friends, a small wedding party or to celebrate that special occasion. Tastefully furnished, the Club Room has room for up to 14 guests and is also equipped with all the technology and services you might need for an informal or formal business meeting or conference. Contact us and we will help put together the perfect event for you.

Oaxen Bakgård Oaxen Bakgård is like a little

Peas and beens with wild pineapple weed from Djurgården, black garlic from Skilleby & yogurt.

wild strawberry – it might pop up for a short time anywhere during the year. Sometimes you’ll find Bakgården on our terrace, when we fire up the wood-fired oven and fill it with thrilling pizzas. When combined with cooling drinks, the ripple of water and good company, these are evenings not to be missed. And yet Oaxen Bakgård may also make an appearance where you least expect it – so keep your eyes and ears open for the next occasion.

Tova, a craftsman-built wooden boat One of the boats hanging from the ceiling at Oaxen Slip is a wooden boat from the Swedish Plym shipyard that is more than a hundred years old. She was ordered by Count Erik von Rosen of Rockelstad Castle, whose sister-in-law Carin von Kantzow married Hermann Göring, and was first launched in 1905 at Lake Båven in Sörmland.

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guest of honour

photo: Linnea Lindblad T e x t: På l J o h a n s s o n


S Meet Tobias, who brings a smile to our faces A native of Uppsala, Tobias Johannisson has been

raising a smile as part of our team for just over a year. When not entertaining our guests in the Slip, you’ll find him appearing on stage somewhere in Sweden – such as in Jonas Gardell’s hugely successful production “Mitt enda liv”, or as a drag queen. Dance, theatre and musicals have been a big part of his life since childhood and his stage training comes in useful in his job as a waiter. – I really love my job and I’m proud of what Oaxen Krog & Slip represents. There’s a fantastic atmosphere, I have great colleagues, the guests are nice people and it’s all combined with amazing food – it doesn’t get better than that. When not in the spotlight he likes meeting up with friends for good food and wine, shopping for shoes or snuggling up with his “old lady” – a pug called Zommi.

ome people visit us rather more often than others. One of these is our loyal patron Annika – the woman behind the shimmering golden duck. As a resident of the area, Annika watched the surroundings being revamped and saw the new restaurant building emerge from the old slipway boatshed. She was also one of the first to eat at the restaurant when she dropped in by chance during our soft opening. She has been a faithful customer ever since. – It’s the whole concept that keeps bringing me back – from the fantastic food and friendly welcome to the wonderful setting and the surroundings. They’ve really captured the feel of the old shipyard. It all comes together perfectly and it feels like every detail has been thought through, says Annika, looking out across the restaurant from her favourite spot at the bar. Over the years she has dropped in many times. Usually it is the Slip that is honoured with her presence, when her fridge seems empty and starting to cook feels like too much effort. – Apart from the summer, I probably

come in at least once a week. During the first year I came here 59 times. I’ve given up counting, but I must have easily passed the hundred mark by now. With such extensive experience, naturally we are curious as to whether she has particular favourites on the menu. – I really do love everything and I never tire of all the exciting flavours. For a while I ate the steak tartare to death – it’s really quite special. At the moment I’m a big fan of the pike perch and the duck breast – not to mention the crispy pork from Nibble farm, the turbot, the rabbit, the oven-baked tomatoes... Well, the list goes on and on, she says, going dreamy-eyed. So how did the golden duck come about? – I was invited to Oaxen Krog & Slip’s first birthday party and wanted to bring a present. A symbolic thank you to everyone who had given me so much pleasure and so many unforgettable food experiences. Rubber ducks are kind of my trademark, and it just felt right to appoint them the first and only recipients of the golden duck – with a certificate to prove it.

locally produced

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photo: erik olsson T e x t: På l J o h a n s s o n


t beautiful Järnaslätten around 40 kilometres south-west of Stockholm, in an idyllic location by the Skillebyån river valley, lies Skilleby Trädgård. Ever since our days on the island many of the vegetables enjoyed in our restaurant have been grown on this flourishing biodynamic farm. Skilleby Trädgård has a 50-year history as a biodynamic farm, and since 2002 has been run by Frida Thörn and Martin Fellkvist. Martin had both studied and taught at nearby Skillebyholm horticultural college before he and Frida decided to take over the farm. A wide range of herbs, legumes and vegetables flourish in their greenhouses and on three hectares of fields – all depending on what their customers want. Production is entirely organic and uses no pesticides, herbicides or other toxins; processes are often carried out by hand, based on green manure and crop rotation and fertilized by the cows of Yttereneby farm which graze peacefully nearby. Active work on soil improvement is key, as is ensuring that the soil is never drained of important nutrients and minerals. – The spring crops are started off as early as mid-February, with the first plants being sown in greenhouses before planting out. By mid-April our first vegetables are ready for delivery, and the harvesting season then continues right up until the end of October, says Frida.

The result is lovingly grown vegetables

A happy reunion. We are proud and happy to be able to welcome back Järna Mejeri as a supplier of dairy produce to Oaxen Krog & Slip. The dairy was destroyed in a fire in 2013, but has now been started up again. The milk comes from biodynamic KRAV- and Demeter-certified farms in the surrounding area who practise good livestock farming.

that have been allowed to grow at their own pace and which are full of flavour and goodness. The fact that they also look great and keep well is a bonus that is probably just as important. Read more about the farm’s biodynamic production at

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photo: Linnea lindblad T e x t: På l J o h a n s s o n



unna Jonsdotter grew up in a ceramics studio. Her father Kennet Williamsson was a ceramicist, so Sunna spent numerous hours in the company of potter’s wheels and kilns. Yet it was by no means certain that she would become a ceramicist herself. – I studied as a chef and worked in restaurants for many years. In fact, it wasn’t until the mid-1990s that I really got started. I’m self-taught and have never been to art school. I’ve simply found my style and look by trying out different things. I started with useful items such as mugs and cups, and it’s developed from there. For the past ten years I’ve also been making sculptural creations, says Sunna when we meet her in her studio at the Djurgården shipyard just next to Oaxen Krog & Slip. by the thin, fine form language of Korean ceramics, our relationship with nature and its combination of fragility and strength. Articulation, fine lines, form and movement are central concepts in Sunna’s work and she describes working with Oaxen Krog as providing an injection of creativity. – I had actually got tired of exhibiting and had packed it in when Magnus got in contact with me. We both work with an aesthetic that is close to nature, and we have good two-way communication that makes it really enjoyable to work together – and it helps me evolve too. Sometimes Magnus might ask for, say, a particular colour, glaze, shape or size; other times I present something completely new that he likes. So all the china that emerges is in keeping with them, and the natural look just comes about on its own.

Sunna’s work is very much inspired

Aged tenderloin with bleak roe and emulsion of chicken stock, juice of grilled herbs and frozen buttermilk beautifully presented on one of Sunna’s plates. She creates and produces all glazes for the ceramics herself.


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Svartleffes Kapell


HISTORY photo: Sjöhistoriska museet J. Robert Boman T e x t: På l J o h a n s s o n


t feels like the building has always been here, doesn’t it? There is a definite sense of history – and if you screw your eyes up tight, you can almost see the boats being pulled up to be made ready to face yet another season out on the waves of the Baltic. It is this heritage that we have tried to maintain. The place where Oaxen Krog & Slip is now located is positively brimming with history. The area has a maritime history going back hundreds of years, with lively enterprise taking place in huts and sheds all the way back to the 1600s. Beckholmen, on the other side of the sound, was originally called Biskopsholmen and got its name from a pitch boilery where tar was boiled to produce pitch resin – a thick, waterproof compound that was used to make the hulls of vessels watertight. This activity continued from 1633 until the mid 19th century, when the eastern and western docks were blasted out and a new era as a shipyard island began. Beckholmen has been damaged by fire on a number of occasions over the years, including in 1723 – the year of the Katarina

fire on Södermalm, when 500 wooden buildings were destroyed and the Katarina church was severely damaged. Through the centuries the island has changed owner a number of times. Since 1995 it has formed part of the National City Park, and it contains numerous buildings of significant heritage value.

This quartet started as a tribute to Svartleffe, a mutual friend and legendary figure around the Djurgården shipyard. Stories and anecdotes about this original character will continue to be told even when the ice has melted at the poles. The quartet played for the first time at Svartleffe’s 70th birthday party; shortly afterwards, he suddenly passed away in the middle of telling an anecdote. The band is made up a gang of musical friends who also live here around the shipyard. They play a mixture of their own material and songs that Leffe liked, spiced up with anecdotes about this legend. The band played at Oaxen Krog & Slip’s first anniversary party as well as at the party celebrating the release of this newspaper. If you like what you hear, feel free to contact the band’s leader Peter Gardemar on 0705-209448 or p.gardemar.

The Grönland district or new Djurgården shipyard, where Oaxen Krog & Slip is situated, is a small remnant of the once huge neighbouring Djurgården shipyard. But here, too, the roots go back to the 17th century and the establishment of the rather more modest Båtman shipyard. It was here, for example, that a number of Meet witty Emil warships saw the light of day in preparation for Gustaf III’s Russian adventure in the late Emil Sjöström has been a chef here at Oaxen Krog since the rest1700s. aurant opened its doors in 2013. Back home in Sandviken, he had But as the vessels became ever larger, been studying at the restaurant school for a year when his dream the area was considered too small and opecame true – the opportunity of a work placement with well-known chef Gert Klötzke, who has led the Swedish national team in culirations were scaled down. In the late 1800s nary competitions. Despite having experienced the food in many the area was downgraded to a repair yard good restaurants around the world, his favourite food experience and a place to land goods including herring is not something that can be bought. – giving it the nickname “the Herring Court”. – I have a priceless The actual building that houses the reschildhood memory of taurant is a modern copy of the wooden sitting on the kitchen slipway building that was once on this site. worktop with my Architect Mats Fahlander has created a builgrandpa, eating ding with a corrugated steel façade in the liver paste sandwiches and drinking same shade of ochre as is found on other enormously large buildings in the area. And inside these amounts of milk. walls, interior designer Agneta Pettersson When Emil is not has worked with Magnus and Agneta to creworking his magic ate a unique interior inspired by the heyin our kitchen he day of its industrial shipyard setting in the likes to outclass his 1920s–1970s. friends at minigolf Despite the industrial setting, you do or devote time to his not have to go very far to get to this roygreat passion of angling. Northern pike is al island’s beautiful areas of nature where a his favourite, and his wealth of species thrive. Among the ancient current record stands oaks and pastureland grow a multitude of at a 11.4 kg fish that herbs and verdant plants, many of which he hooked at the can be found in our dishes. cottage in Sandviken.

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