• Sweden edition
 
New breed of crazy Swedish chefs ride wave of YouTube fame

New breed of crazy Swedish chefs ride wave of YouTube fame

Published: 06 Dec 2011 14:31 GMT+01:00
Updated: 06 Dec 2011 14:31 GMT+01:00

When someone says 'Swedish Chef' it’s probably most often associated with the verbally-challenged Muppet and his oddball kitchen antics from the popular 1970s television show.

But a group of would-be Swedish chefs from the north of the country have used YouTube to put an entirely new and even more outrageous spin on the preparation of traditional Swedish food.

Mashing vegetables by slamming them in a door and body slamming onions are just a few of the unorthodox methods employed by the creators of Regular Ordinary Swedish Meal Time (ROSMT).

And while dishes such as head-butted meatballs and face-scrubbed potatoes – often preceded by the gulping down of a heaping spoonful of mayonnaise – may leave some feeling queasy, episodes of ROSMT have been viewed millions of times since the show's launch earlier this year, making it one of the most popular Swedish cooking shows in cyberspace.

And it all started with a hangover meal.

Isak Anklew and Niclas Lundberg, both 24, were preparing some food to help them recover from an extended evening of celebrations to ring in the 2011 New Year when inspiration struck.

They felt creative, despite their diminished energy reserves, and came up with the idea to do something fun with their cooking that they could post on YouTube.

“I know Niclas from way back, and I knew he could freak out and it would come out great on film,” Anklew, who works as an iPhone developer, tells The Local.

“We were inspired by ‘Epic Meal Time’. We’ve seen a lot of their clips and love what they do.”

Epic Meal Time is a YouTube sensation out of Canada where a group of young men cook greasy food in an innovative and slightly aggressive manner.

ROSMT’s pilot episode “Spaghetti Explosion”, in which Lundberg pummels minced meat with his fists while scowling at the camera, attempted to put a Swedish twist on the Canadian show.

After first being spread among the friends of Lundberg and Anklew, the video quickly received thousands of views, inspiring them to keep going.

When ROSMT showed how to effectively grease a pan with one’s face in their third video, “Sidepork Pandemonium”, it was picked up by on the news aggregate site Reddit.com.

Suddenly, the offbeat and barbaric Swedish cooking show was a global phenomenon.

“We got 200,000 views in a day which really gave us a boost, and that pretty much started this carousel,” Anklew says.

“That’s when it went viral I guess you could say, and it was pretty obvious when it happened.”

Since then, the group's internet fame has given them little breathing space.

The number of subscribers to their YouTube channel has steadily increased, forcing the group to eat things that others might have chosen to decline.

“I like mayonnaise so it’s really not a problem to eat a spoonful like that, but I wouldn’t eat a whole jar of it,” says Lundberg, who enjoys a sizeable swallow of mayonnaise as a pre-dinner snack in each episode.

“But some things like the crayfish shell we can’t eat, that would probably be a hazard to our health.”

Anklew and Lundberg have a couple of theories as to why their rather simple format cooking show has proven so popular.

According to Anklew, the contrast between the image of Swedes as neutral and careful in most aspects of life, and the aggressive visuals of the show, adds to the comedy.

“No one really expects us to trash the kitchen,” he says.

Lundberg points to the sensibilities of an audience that came of age after the dawn of the internet era.

“We’re born into this internet generation. We spend lots of time surfing the web and I think we’ve always had an eye for what people want to see,” he says.

“If we think it’s funny, others will think so too. The best things we’ve done we’ve also laughed like crazy to.”

And they’re not only advocates of this particular type of humour, but also the format of easily accessible, short video clips.

Having studied how to make appealing YouTube media, Lundberg and team member Niklas Odén, 25, know the “dos and dont's” of the enormous virtual platform, including keeping clips short and action packed to appeal to the shorter attention span of internet media consumers.

Another reason ROSMT has proven popular outside Sweden might be the show's sporadic use of the international language “Swenglish”.

However, the main language is, and will remain Swedish, even though some viewers are requesting subtitles.

“We were strongly opposed to the idea of subtitles right from the start,” Lundberg says.

“Some even say it’s a lot funnier because they don’t understand a word of what we say. Swedish is kind of exotic in itself.”

In this day and age it’s not uncommon to receive tens of thousands of hits on sites like YouTube, but many viral videos are merely one hit wonders.

ROSMT episodes, however, have amassed nearly 30 million clip views, and almost 200,000 subscribers, and the gang is determined to keep the project going.

But it hasn’t been easy.

At the moment the five members, also including Tom Brännström, 24, and Anders Söderman, 30, live in different parts of Sweden and have different jobs, meaning the opportunity to record a clip doesn’t come as often as they’d like.

“The dream is to do more stuff and have more time for it,” says Lundberg, who is getting a masters in Cross Media Interaction Design at Umeå University in Skellefteå, in northern Sweden.

“It’d be fun to see if we could do more besides cooking and see if people would like that too. But that’s wishful thinking right now.”

So for now, most communication is done via Skype, where new ideas for tasty, messy meals flourish.

They’re still “flat broke” as Lundberg put it, but at least their YouTube success has enabled them to buy and smash food for new episodes.

Related links:

Joel Linde (news@thelocal.se)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

16:32 December 6, 2011 by lilsocks
Bork bork bork!
16:47 December 6, 2011 by uunbeliever
Without ROSMT Sweden would be cold and bleak...
16:47 December 6, 2011 by colombianska_tjej
The best you can find in Youtube
18:30 December 6, 2011 by philster61
damm lilsocks, you beat me to it
12:45 December 7, 2011 by Marc the Texan
The Swedish chef is muppet. I think that's something everyone can agree on.
15:45 December 7, 2011 by BrittInSweden
Their videos are awesome. Funniest thing to EVER come out of Sweden.
11:59 December 8, 2011 by spo10
Funny and nasty!
16:59 December 8, 2011 by Imran Akram
This is by FAR, one of the most stupidest things I've ever seen in my life and the worst thing is... a lot of people actually like it. For those of you just getting ready to pounce on me... Watch this video PLEASE!!

/watch?v=LIB4Bar_DBw

(you need to append the above part after youtube dot com in your browser)
12:06 December 9, 2011 by Shibumi
The first one of these you watch is funny, the second is amusing... and then it's just repetitive.
04:40 December 10, 2011 by Bolante007
@Imran Akram

Colors were made for people with likes. You don't like it then don't say its stupid, stop acting like a teen and move on..
22:29 December 19, 2011 by nightaberrations
Pre-dinner snack. It's good for you.
Today's headlines
Stockholm 'bomb man' jailed and deported
Police at the scene of the threat in June. Photo: Bertil Ericson/TT

Stockholm 'bomb man' jailed and deported

The 43-year-old man who threatened Stockholm's Gamla Stan with a bomb in June was sentenced on Friday to two years in jail, followed by deportation. READ  

Swedish police: 'We're sweaty all the time'
Swedish cops are unhappy with the heat. Photo: Håkan Dahlström/Flickr

Swedish police: 'We're sweaty all the time'

Swedish weather agencies say the summer's warmest day is yet to come, but police in the north have decided that they can't take the heat - and filed a report about the own stifling police station. READ  

SAS resumes flights from Stockholm to Tel Aviv
File photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

SAS resumes flights from Stockholm to Tel Aviv

SAS Scandinavian Airlines has resumed flights from Stockholm to Tel Aviv after the airline completed a 'thorough security analysis' of the situation in Israel. READ  

Swedish man stabs woman and kills himself
A Stockholm police car. File photo: TT

Swedish man stabs woman and kills himself

A man and a woman, reported to be both 45-years-old, were found dead on Thursday in an apartment on Lidingö in Stockholm with police suspecting a murder and suicide. READ  

Police fear arson after Sweden mosque fire
Central Norrköping in eastern Sweden. Photo: Stefan Vilcans

Police fear arson after Sweden mosque fire

Swedish police suspect arson after buildings at a mosque in Norrköping in eastern Sweden burned down in the early hours of Friday morning. READ  

Opinion
'Moving wasn't a choice, Sweden called to me'

'Moving wasn't a choice, Sweden called to me'

Caught in an identity limbo and surrounded by often apathetic "love refugees", The Local's resident Swedophile Solveig Rundquist wonders if she's the only expat who moved to Sweden for the culture alone. READ  

Swedish inmates to receive digital tablets
Photo: Hasse Holmberg/TT

Swedish inmates to receive digital tablets

Sweden's Prison and Probation Services are beginning a project in which suspected criminals will be given surf tablets to look at evidence against them. READ  

Snake hunt after man claims playground bite
The Swedish adder. Photo: Piet Spaans

Snake hunt after man claims playground bite

A man claimed to have been bitten by a poisonous snake at a paddling pool in Gothenburg on Thursday prompting a hunt which ended without a trace of the offending reptile. READ  

Stockholmers sound off on 'beautiful Swedes'
Swedish girls in Stockholm. Photo: Susanne Walström/Imagebank Sweden

Stockholmers sound off on 'beautiful Swedes'

Following a Nordic survey in which Swedes were voted the "most attractive", The Local hit the streets to see what Stockholmers thought. READ  

Sweden keeps eye on Norway bomb threat
Norwegian police car at Oslo Gardemoen Airport. Photo: TT

Sweden keeps eye on Norway bomb threat

The Swedish Security Service (Säpo) have said that an "imminent terror threat" to neighbouring Norway doesn't yet affect Sweden although developments are being closely followed. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Society
Swedes voted 'most beautiful' in the Nordics
Business & Money
Sweden demands EU clarity on Bitcoin tax
National
Swedish organic sales enjoy 'amazing' growth
Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT
Society
What's On in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching July 23
Blog updates

24 July

Sharing our Pride: Celebrating Love & the LGBT Community! (Stockholm in my American Heart) »

"It’s mid- July in Stockholm, and with much of the city on vacation, things can seem a little quiet – the streets, the bus, and the grocery store. One thing that has not paused for a summer break, though, is preparation for Stockholm’s Pride Festival, which will take place from July 28 to August 2...." READ »

 

22 July

Det (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! “Det” is a personal pronoun that can be used in many ways, and it might me confusing if you always translate “det” to English “it”. In this article I will do my best to guide you to how to use “det”. Det replacing a word, a phrase or a clause Let us begin with the less confusing..." READ »

 
 
 
National
Swedish cops elect not to shoot 'angry elks'
Business & Money
New alcohol retail rules threaten micro-breweries
Gallery
People-watching Båstad
Business & Money
Sweden falls to third in global innovation index
Society
Swedish ornithologists keep webcam watch
Photo: Andreas Nordström/Image Bank Sweden
Gallery
Top ten Swedish beach hot spots
Tech
Swedish Wiki vet sets new content record
Photo: Fastighetsbyrån
Lifestyle
In Pictures: The Local's Property of the Week
Photo: Finest.se
Gallery
People-watching July 15-16
Photo: Ola Ericson/Image Bank Sweden
Society
What's On in Sweden
Photo: Lisa Mikulski
National
Hope springs eternal for expat pet shop owner
Gallery
Princess Estelle steals limelight at mum's birthday
National
Swedes risk infants' lives by covering up prams
National
Swede runs for office just using Bitcoin funds
Gallery
People-watching July 11-13
National
Malmö mayor slams Danish beggar ban
National
Swedish anti-abortion midwife sues county
National
Swede's salary chopped for Facebook use
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Your finances in Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Housing in Stockholm
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

733
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com
If you want to drink, that’s your business.
If you want to stop, we can help.

Learn more about English-language Alcoholics Anonymous in Sweden. No dues. No fees. Confidentiality assured.
AA-EUROPE.ORG/SWEDEN
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
http://psdmedia.se