THE NORDIC WAVES-SCANDINAVIAN CHEFS: FILIP LANGHOFF
The Nordic Waves is the term I used to describe this group of chefs from all of Scandinavia, mainly from Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Norway. These chefs known for 3-4 years at international level have particularly been at the forefront over the past two years due to the recognition of New Nordic Cuisine and the emphasis on a cuisine close to nature and the local products. All this, without relying on the status attained by the restaurant Noma and Chef René Redzepi. But beyond fashions and trends of the moment, I discovered a high concentration of young chefs, innovative, creative, open to the world and all dedicated to their garden and immediate environment.
After to present you Sasu Laukkonen, I repeated in Finland with the chef Filip Langhoff. Barely thirty, Langhoff has been the chef of two of the best restaurants in Finland and Norway: Spisestedet Feinschmecker (Oslo) & Chez Dominique (Helsinki).
Born in 1980 at Helsinki, Filip Langhoff started his apprenticeship in the garden of his grandmother before learning the work in Oslo. After a stint at El Bulli, he entered through ‘’la Grande Porte’’ and pointed as Head chef of Feinschmecker (2005) and Chez Dominique (2010). Through this he found time to win the Bocuse ‘D’Or in 2009. Now he runs his company, CIBUS by Langhoff where he touches on all facets he loves in gastronomy: catering, food styling, education and consulting.
In talking with Langhoff, it seems that he has 30 years experience in the kitchen rather than this age … and still learning! His cuisine of a high precision highlights the purity of flavors and local produce.
The ‘’terroir’’ is important and social contribution (of chefs) as well, but we’re going to restaurant for the experience and pleasure of the table. With Filip Langhoff, we are in the fine cuisine at its best!
Q+A WITH FILIP LANGHOFF (www.cibus.fi ) :
1-(Scoffier) How do you explain the philosophy behind your cuisine and what is it main characteristics?
FLanghoff- Normally, I like to let other people experience it and then, I explain my cuisine. I believe that everybody experience food and style in different ways but if I have to explain it, I would use three words: ingredient, flavor and story. When you have a great product there is no point of hiding it behind many flavors. Some times I use one main ingredient and other times more but the main line is always that everything else on the dish is there to enhance and support the main ingredients and its flavors.
For me, it is also very important that everything I use and serve have a meaning and a purpose. Food without a story is just so flat and boring.
2-(Scoffier) You were the Head chef of two of the best restaurants in the country, Feinschmecker & Chez Dominique, what have you learned?
FLanghoff- At Feinchmecker, I learned to trust my own ideas and to have respect for the customer.
Chez Dominique “plays in the big league” I learned what is required among the best. At both places, I really learned to push myself and never to stop.
3-(Scoffier) What is the concept/the idea behind CIBUS by Langhoff?
FLanghoff- Through my newly started company CIBUS by Langhoff, I work in four different fields: Consulting, Catering, Food styling and Education. I started the company to be able to work with the things that I am passionate about.
Consulting: As a consultant, I help restaurants to develop and help them to go further with their concepts. It can be new menus, special events or the work routines in the kitchen.
Catering: With our ‘’custom catering’’ as I call it, I plan all the details and menus, especially for the customer. Nothing is too strange or too special! It is the extraordinary events that I want to handle.
Food styling: Food and photography have always been a passion for me so with food styling I get to do two of the things, I really enjoy! Shooting products, dishes and whatever the customer wants.
Education: I give lectures and I teach about food and the restaurant’s life from my perspective and my point of view.
4-(Scoffier) Do you have a flavor or taste from your childhood that is again memorable?
FLanghoff- I will always remember my grandmother’s garden, the fresh parsley, the dill, the rhubarb and the berries. I will also remember how she was able to transform a “simple” meat soup into something fantastic with some fresh chopped parsley.
5-(Scoffier) Do you have a particular food (or product) that you often use in your recipes?
FLanghoff- After almost 10 years in Norway, the fish and shellfish from the surrounding seas were very important to me. But since I moved back to Finland, it is harder to get product of good quality, in fact it is almost impossible. Here I have to relay on other source of ingredients. Fresh water fish, wild mushrooms and root vegetables are ingredients I use a lot.
6-(Scoffier) Do you have a mentor (chef or anybody else) that inspires your cuisine?
FLanghoff- The most inspiring times in my career were the times when I found myself working with colleagues that I liked, who inspired me and that I have inspired. One of the person I worked with is Jon-Oskar Arnasson, an Icelandic chef. I got to work with him for 2 years when I was in Norway. With him I really developed the base of my cooking and we were able to push each other to new heights all the time.
Another time was when I worked as head chef at Spisestedet Feinschmecker and found myself with a superb staff that included chefs like Esben H. Bang (Maaemo) and Sebastian Persson (former Trio). All of them have changed and boost my way of cooking more than any other chef I have worked with over the years. But if I could be single and have no children today I would go and work for Grant Achatz at Alinea.
7-(Scoffier) Can you describe the restaurant’s scene of Helsinski and the progression of the gastronomy in the country?
FLanghoff- In Helsinki, there are only a few top restaurants but there are a group of young chefs ready to start for themselves. Some have already started and more are coming. I also hope that more chefs will dare to start new restaurants with high ambitions outside Helsinki. The average consumer is becoming more and more interested in food and what it is all about. The market for organic food is growing and a lot of small organic stores are popping up so we are going the right way. I believe that in 5 to 10 years from now we will have a completely changed the market, that the organic and the food produced locally will be the logical choice.
8--(Scoffier) How do you develop your recipes? What are your source(s) of inspiration?
FLanghoff- Inspiration can come from anywhere. Sometimes it comes from nature, sometimes from something somebody says or it may come from handling an exceptional ingredient. Then the process starts. The flavor of the chosen main ingredient stays in focus and I start to build up with techniques, flavors and textures that will bring the ingredient to its best. Some times it takes a day, other times it takes a year.
9-(Scoffier) Are you a part of the New Nordic Cuisine manifesto? Now, It is easy to source locally?
I do believe in the importance of the New Nordic Cuisine and the manifesto. Preferably local produce and if possible organic produce should be used. Historically we have been importing products in the Nordic regions so why not use lemons and spices that have been used here for centuries. Now, as then they should be used as an addition to our local products. With time they will become a part of our food heritage.
There are a lot of products to source locally but you have to work on the logistics. In the winter, it snows at least for 5 months and that makes it hard but not impossible.
10-(Scoffier) Can you give us a detailed recipe (Signature dish or other) that is characterized the cuisine of Filip Langhoff?
FLanghoff- I will give you a Norwegian shellfish, a favorite from my time spent at Feinschmecker, which I used in many different variations.
Recipe: Barley cooked in lobster stock with Norwegian shellfish, carrots and sea buckthorn
11-(Scoffier) What are your goals (ambitions) as a chef? Do you think about opening a restaurant, writing a book, having a television show, or others?
FLanghoff- Aside from getting CIBUS by Langhoff to work and taking care of my family, I have a restaurant project. Time will tell if we ever get that one up and running.
RECIPE: Barley cooked in lobster stock with Norwegian shellfish, carrots and sea buckthorn
The lobster stock, carrot juice and the acidic sea buckthorn give this dish its identity. Use home-made lobster stock. The carrot juice is best if centrifuged right before adding. The sea buckthorn juice should be uncooked and without added sugar. In autumn, the cold water along Norway’s coast yields the finest quality shellfish.
Ingredients & Progression Recipe (10 servings)
-3 lobsters (750g / 1 ¾ pounds)
-50 g (2 ounces) butter
-30 g (1 stalk) celery
-30 ml (2 tablespoons) white wine
-Maldon sea salt
-300 g (10 ounces) king crab meat (cleaned legs)
-30 ml (2 tablespoons) sunflower oil
-30 g (1 ounce) butter
-10 ml (1 teaspoon) lemon juice
-Maldon sea salt
-200 g (7 ounces) Raw shrimp (without shells)
-30 ml (2 tablespoons) extra virgin olive oil
20 ml (4 teaspoons) sea buckthorn juice
5g (1 teaspoons) Maldon sea salt
1 stalk dill, chopped
- Boil the lobsters in salted water for 2 minutes. Remove the tail and claws and pick out the meat. Save the shells for the stock and the claws for the risotto. Vacuum the tails with butter, celery and white wine. Poach in water bath with an immersion circulator at 59 C (138 F) for 10 minute
- Season the crab with salt and sauté in oil until caramelized, around 2 minutes.
Add butter and lemon and cook over low heat for around 2 minutes more.
- Add all ingredients to the shrimps and mix well. Vacuum, then marinate for 20 minutes.
-300 g (10 ounces) pearl barley soaked over the night
-50 g (2 ounces) shallots
-20 g (1 ½ tablespoons) tomato paste
-40 ml (3 tablespoons) extra virgin olive oil
-300 ml (1 ¼ cups) lobster stock
-300 ml (1 ¼ cups) water
-20 g (1 ½ tablespoons) butter
-Lobster claw meat
-Salt and pepper
- Chop the shallots and sauté with tomato paste in half of the oil. Add barley and stock. Let simmer until all stock has been absorbed by the barley. Add water, little by little, cooking until all is absorbed before adding more.
- Add the claw meat and let simmer for 2 minutes.
- At the end, stir in the olive oil and butter.
- Season with salt, pepper and lemon juice and garnish with chives.
-10 tiny carrots
-60 ml (1/3 cup) carrot juice
-20 ml (4 teaspoons) sea buckthorn juice
-40 g (3 tablespoons) sugar
- Heat carrot juice, sea buckthorn juice and sugar until the sugar dissolves, stirring constantly.
- Peel the tiny carrots and cut to 5 cm (2 inch) lengths. Place in a vacuum
bag with half the juice mixture. Poach in water bath with an immersion circulator at 85 C (185 F) for 40 minutes.
- Peel the carrots and cut into 2 x 2 x 10 cm (3/4 x ¾ x 4 inches) lengths.
Cut into around 20 1 mm thick slices with a mandolin. Place in a vacuum
bag with the remaining juice mixture. Poach in water bath with an immersion circulator at 85 C (185F) for 30 minutes.
-300 ml (1 ¼ cups) carrot juice
-30 ml (2 tablespoons) sea buckthorn juice
-10 g (2 teaspoons) sugar
- Reduce the carrot juice over high heat until it becomes syrupy and about
20% of the original amount remains.
- Combine sea buckthorn juice and sugar with the carrot syrup and keep stirring until sugar dissolves.
Sea buckthorn froth
-300 ml (1 ¼ cups) sea buckthorn juice
-200 ml (¾ cup) carrot juice
-20 g (4 teaspoons) sugar
-5 g (1 ½ teaspoon) lecithin
- Combine all ingredients at low speed in a thermomixer at 60 C (140 F) for 10 minutes.
- Strain, then whisk to froth with an immersion blender.
-Thin shreds of celery
Brush carrot reduction across a plate. Place all ingredients on the reduction. In first, lobster and king crab then the carrot ribbons, mini carrots and shrimp. Garnish with dill, celery and olive oil. Top with the sea buckthorn froth and serve the barley risotto alongside.
Restaurant Ask & CIBUS by Langhoff/Chef-owner Filip Langhoff
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