At The City Lane, we’re always interested in hearing about what’s happening around the world when it comes to food. Alexandra Vikström is a Swedish journalist and food stylist who splits her time between Sweden and Italy. With a keen interested in the cuisines of both counties, we were keen to hear her thoughts and took some time out to have a chat with her earlier this week.
Alexandra was also king enough to share one of her favourite Swedish recipes with us, a delicious butter fried cod with hash brown and pea pesto which you can find here.
What inspired you to make a career out of food photography and writing?
I love to eat, make recipes and take beautiful photos and when I don’t eat I think about eating. It would be a waste of time to not work with it! Spending time in the kitchen or at the market makes me calm and happy and I like that food often bring people together.
You spend your time in Italy and Sweden. Which of the two countries would you say has the more progressive food scene at the moment?
I would say Sweden. One month ago Sweden won bronze in Bocuse d’Or and the Swedish chefs are pretty innovative. In Italy it is more about the tradition. They know what they are doing because they have done it for such a long time. The Swedish kitchen is very influenced by other cultures which I think is one reason the chefs here are very creative. But I have to admit I love the Italian kitchen more.
Gothenburg is famous for its coffee and when we visited it didn’t disappoint. Are there any hidden gems elsewhere in Sweden that people should know about?
Sweden has very good coffee and when I am in Italy I always miss the filtered coffee. An Americano is not the same thing! Anyway, the north of Sweden is very beautiful and if you go to the region Jämtland you should go for a hike in the mountains. In the middle of nowhere, in Blåhammarens mountain station, there is a very good restaurant. Also the region Hälsingland, in the middle of Sweden, is a beautiful place. If you make it here you have to eat the cheesecake, made of fresh cream and milk, with cloud berries.
We hear you’re writing a city guide about Stockholm. We’re big fans of the Södermalm district. What’s your favourite part of town?
That is a tough question because I like every part of town, but in different ways. If I want a beautiful café with really good food I always go to Vasastan or Östermalm and if I have Italian coffee and cornetto in mind Kungsholmen is the right place to be. Stockholm is a beautiful city, it´s green and you are always close to the water.
Best Dagens lunch* in Stockholm?
Tranan in Odenplan. They have all the Swedish Classics but also an really amazing linguine with truffle and parmesan cheese. Otherwise Taverna Brillo at Stureplan is very good. After lunch you should go to Fabrique Stenugnsbageri at Nybrogatan. They make the best cinnamon and cardamom buns ever!
*Dagens lunch (lunch of the day) is common in restaurants throughout Sweden and is a fixed price, affordable lunch option. Generally you get a salad, main dish and a drink/coffee for around SEK 75-90. It’s a great way of getting a really good quality lunch for a lower than usual price.