The produce itself is at the core of modern gastronomy.
Chefs from across the globe searches for products from farmers and food producers directly. The “Exceptionell Råvara” project wants to increase the contacts and deepen the relationships between chefs and producers in Sweden, and through doing this create a long-term platform for further development. The chefs share knowledge, evaluate produce and give feedback to producers, who for their part collaborate and share experiences with the aim of being able to deliver a more diverse range of products of exceptional quality.
Instead of each chef putting time and energy into finding ambitious farmers, the chefs here can share knowledge and contacts and in this way create demand and profitability for a larger pool of growers, animal breeders and farmers. The producers also share knowledge and learnings in order to create a more robust and varied range of goods that are of exceptional quality.
The project was started in 2011 by the chef Björn Frantzén and the journalist Mattias Kroon. By gathering Sweden’s best chefs the foundation for the development of exceptional produce in Sweden could be laid. Today there are around twenty chefs and forty producers connected to the project with new ones joining regularly.
Regular meetings have been held where taste, consistency, smell and appearance have been discussed. In the initial years there was a focus on pork, chicken, butter and cream, and later beef and vegetables were also tested. The producers selected have received thorough evaluations of their produce and had the opportunity to themselves describe the challenges they face in production. These dialogues provide the chefs with an idea of what exceptional produce can be, at the same time as confidence and the courage of the producers grows when they meet chefs willing to pay for exceptional produce.
This is a quality-oriented, broad and inclusive initiative to develop modern gastronomy and provide the growing network of top-level restaurants that use quality produce that is uniquely Swedish. The actual definition of exceptional produce can however never be entirely static as location, season, sort and breed matters much, and it is precisely this richness in diversity that the project strives for.
From the very beginning Sören Persson at LRF and Ami Hovstadius from Visit Sweden have been crucial in bringing the project to fruition. As has Mattias Dernelid at Sorunda who has handled all of the logistics prior to taster meetings.
The project is supported by LRF, Jordbruksverket, Martin & Servera, Svenskt Kött and VisitSweden.