Revealed: Sweden’s best chef named in prestigious competition

Revealed: Sweden's best chef named in prestigious competition
Sweden's Chef of the Year celebrates in style. Photo: Emil Langvad/TT
The finest chef in Sweden has been named after a gruelling five-hour cooking competition in Malmö.

Johan Backéus, a chef at Aveqia in the Swedish capital, beat seven other finalists at the Malmö Arena to be named Sweden's Chef of the Year (Årets kock).

He won the jury over with what they judged to be the five best vegetarian side dishes prepared, as well as a main course of pheasant.

“My idea was to start with soft but still high tastes in the five vegetarian dishes, and then move on to something stronger. I also had a couple of technical moments that look nice, but above all it tastes good,” Backéus said, explaining his strategy.

This is the fourth time the chef has reached the final of the competition, winning a silver medal in 2016 and 2013, but the first time he grabs first place.

“It's really nice, indescribable. I’ve gone completely weak at the knees,” he told news agency TT.

Second and third prize went to two other Stockholm-based chefs: Sebastian Thuresson from Lilla Ego, and Magnus Persson from Hillenberg.

The competition to name Sweden's Chef of the Year has been running since 1983. It was conceived by the Swedish Academy of Gastronomy, and is Sweden’s most prestigious competition for professional chefs.

Previous guest judges include Gordon Ramsay, and René Redzepi from Copenhagen’s Noma.

Edit: A previous version of the article said Johan Backéus had won the competition three times. He had in fact previously been in the final three times, with two silver medals. We apologize for the error.