In this edition of Grandpa Family we’re highlighting our own clothing line Grandpa Soft Goods. We met up with our friend Niklas Ekstedt who we thought would fit perfectly in our line.
Niklas is one of Sweden’s most well-renowned chefs and restaurateurs. He owns and runs many restaurants and is also known for being a part of many tv-shows. He’s written cookbooks, has an active outdoor life, and loves to skate. Read our interview below:
You own and run a few different restaurants, but today we’re visiting Ekstedt and Tyge & Sessil. Could you tell us something about these two?
Both of these make up the core, or the heart, of my business. It’s these two concepts that I’m most passionate about and it’s here that I spend most of my time.
Tyge & Sessik is a wine bar focused on biodynamic wines from the old world. We enjoy giving space to otherwise underrepresented areas, made out of more unique or less known grapes.
Ekstedt is the restaurant I’m most known for. It’s been open since 2011 and is focused on using old traditional ways of cooking food. We always cook over an open fire. It’s back to the roots of cooking.
You’ve got several irons in the fire (literally) – how do you find balance in life? Do you?
It’ll come as no surprise that I enjoy life the most when a lot is going on. That’s how I like it and that’s how I work. I don’t get stressed out, just psyched. I did try slowing down once… never been so stressed out in my entire life. Just watching people not doing anything is stressful for me. So kicking back and relaxing isn’t relaxing for me.
Our impression of you is that you’re interested in the climate crisis. What’s your take on sustainability in your line of business? What could be the way forward?
My take is that many options are staring us in the face as it is. Some resources are locally available or locally grown. Working with produce that’s in-season. Not serving lamb in spring. We build our menus around that way of thinking. And that’s something we like to educate our guests on too.
Ok, so Corona struck. How has that changed your business?
We’ve done a lot. We’ve adjusted our opening hours, opening up earlier and closing earlier. This so that we can spread out our guests over a longer period of time. We’ve been able to let a few people work from home, but in this business, it’s not that easy. We’ve done some weekend bags with food. But it has been and still is very tough and challenging.
What are the long term effects for your line of business?
Hard to say. I think people will think long and hard before opening up a new restaurant. You’ve got to have a long-term mindset. I think risk-taking will plummet, for both good and bad.
From a customer perspective, I guess that people are liking the take away-options that have erupted. People will probably think of restaurants in more than just the old way - it’s both a place to go meet and hang out, but also a place to order take out.
When it comes to fashion and style – what are your thoughts there? What do you prefer to wear?
It’s hard to describe, but at the same time, I’ve got a clear idea in my mind. Whatever I wear must be comfortable and durable. I can’t be made out of any sheer fabrics. I like for it to have a timeless appeal, and it needs to transition from morning to evening and make me look presentable while in the restaurant. If I also can go skate in them – even better! I don’t spend a lot of time on clothing, the only time I get nerdy is when it comes to getting new clothes for snowboarding.
Do you have any secret projects coming up that you’d like to share something about?
Haha! Not right now. Just survival is enough a project now. We just have to press on a bit further and hope we all make it out on the other side of this pandemic.