Out of the box

I have had an opportunity to watch some daytime television and have discovered Jack Stein’s Inside the Box (link). Jack “takes ten of Britain’s most historically famous meals to countries where they are far less well known, and far less well loved”. In each country, he invites a chef to help him.

On his visit to Malmo in Sweden (to make Welsh Rarebit) he asked Titti Qvarnström to help him. This episode brought back memories of the Noma restaurant in Copenhagen (link) and reminded me just how much analysts can learn from chefs.

Titti trained in Copenhagen and then went to work in Germany. She returned to Malmo to become a chef at the Bloom in the Park restaurant (link). Bloom has a “No Menu” approach. This means that “the best is served according to availability, day and mood”. In 2015, Bloom was awarded a Michelin Star and Titti became the first woman to achieve such an award in the Nordic section (link).

In 2018, Titti moved to the restaurant MAT in Folkets Hus in Malmö. The restaurant serves breakfast and lunch with an emphasis on local raw materials. On two evenings a month, fourteen guests “share a table and dinner with the focus on drinks”. Each dinner is themed and the dishes are composed to match the drinks.

What I found fascinating about Titti’s work with Jack is her Malmofication of Welsh Rarebit. The aim of Jack’s show is to modify a traditional English recipe to local conditions. Titti’s advice to Jack led to:

  • The use of local sourdough as toast.
  • The replacement of piccalilli with locally fermented produce.
  • The garnishing of the rarebit with herbs gathered from a roadside verge.

The discovery of Titti through Jack has given me an opportunity to revisit what we can learn from non-sport contexts. Part of the success of Jack’s program is the ease with which he works with other chefs. In Malmo he deferred to Titti to provide an appropriate dish for a local context. Overall, I thought this episode of the program underscored Titti’s energy and her desire to improve her own practice.

Photo Credit

Titti Qvarnström (Sydsvenskan)

Inside the Box (Rick Stein)

Gathering (Conde Nest Traveller)

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