About John

I live a life of food, with food, according to food, in symbiosis with food.

Very few have the days been when I haven´t set a foot in the kitchen to prepare, experiment, ponder, eat, drink. None have the days been when I haven´t contemplated, mused, thought about food.

Made in Sweden, but exported to Italy a while ago. Now living in Rome, Caput Mundi - “Head of the World”.

Always had an interest for the kitchen fun. Helping mummy making & baking. At first exploring and eating without understanding of the ingredients, the chemistry of food or how to cook a demiglace - but always with the same fascination. Having hopes to be a photographer, when suddenly an actual opportunity to make real money appeared - the first experience at the age of 17 in a real restaurant kitchen. (Still carrying that camera around these days though!)

Since then working in numerous restaurants and with different cuisines, always being inspired by the best ideas, combinations, techniques and tastes from the various kitchens.
The basic thought will always be that the food should be honest, fresh and utterly delicious!

I´m fond of strong, clear flavors and of the opinion that if a flavor is specified in the menu, you shouldn´t have to look hard for it in the dish - it should come out and hit you like a freight train.
Simple flavors may be the way to go, but I believe that adding that little extra twist, be it tastewise or techniquewise, may take the dish to another level.
Important is to have a clear conception of each dish and being able to present it with pride, every time.

Experimenting with flavors and finding new interesting combinations is a lot of fun for me and I like resolving problems with the help of logic, physics and chemistry.
Some of the best things ever invented are contrasts - in consistency, temperature, color, form…

I have a definite passion for good bread, especially sourdough varieties (all fermented foods are highly intriguing). If I had to choose only one thing to eat for the rest of my life, it would probably be bread. It´s so versatile and comes in so many shapes, flavors and textures.

Having an open mind for learning from others, and a curiosity for other cuisines enables me to do my work better and better every day.

Being a “Natural born traveller” compels me to travel and eat - and I´ve done quite a bit of it around the world over the last years. It´s one of my great joys and to me it really defines the word “exploring”.

I´m both a thinker and a doer. First I think, then I do.
And when I do - I like working in an organized environment, since working or thinking in chaos doesn´t allow for the highest possible quality at the end of the line.

I like the physical work in the kitchen, and the progress of every day constructing the dishes from scratch. (even though it´s the same work the next day, like a neverending circle, at least until you change menu.)
It is indeed interesting to follow an ingredient´s way through the kitchen and in the end becoming a beautiful dish combined with other raw materials. Lets take the fresh whole brill that arrives to the restaurant in the morning as an example. It gets cleaned and filleted as soon as the cook has finished his morning coffee. After a short rest in the refrigerator the fillets gets thrown in a marinade with salt and fresh herbs. They do their swimming around in the marinade for 2 hours, while the cook makes the filling - a shrimp mousse spiced up with truffles and chives. Time to put a spoonful of the filling on each fillet and roll them up as roulades - later on, before serving, they will be quickly steamed and glazed with a small amount of olive oil.

To complete the dish, they cook still has some work to do. A lemon-potato puree seasoned with a good knob of butter, lemon peel and lemon juice. Then some artichokes in thin slices sauteed with oliveoil, a drop of white wine and chopped scallions. Voilà! The dish is complete and ready to serve.

With some sort of natural aptitude for the artistic genre, a creative work (with instant feedback) - is probably the only job I could stand for a longer period of time.
This also means that I have great respect for all artisans, in whatever sector, people with a special skill within their trade and a passion for what they are doing. Small scale production of food, drinks etc is a wonderful thing, a return to the old days where the human hand takes part in the whole process. This results in unique products of high quality without large scale industrial processing and products made without unneccesary additives.

Food is the most primitive form of comfort.
- Sheila Graham

Eating belongs to the most essential of all basic human needs. We have to eat to survive. If there is a possibility to eat, not only to survive, but also to have an extraordinary experience, then you´re already on another level. To have a dish that has been composed and cooked, not only as nutrition for the body, but has been given an additional dimension by its combination of flavors, consistencies and a pinch of love - that´s haute cuisine, whether it´s in the small kitchen at home or in a starred restaurant.

Things I couldn´t live without in the kitchen:

  • Lemonpeel and lemonjuice
  • Extra vergine olive oil
  • Fresh herbs
  • Dijon mustard
  • Brown sugar
  • Microplane grater

In this moment spending my days working in a restaurant in Rome, trying to get an idea about Italian cuisine and life in general. I left Sweden to go on this field trip with the vision to explore a new country, cuisine, language, people…
…and many beautiful things I have found…both native to this country and from elsewhere.

To contact me: chef (at) caputmundicibus.com