AN EVENING WITH MAGNUS JOHANSSON (AKA sweet dreams come true for local food hero)

Last week I had the privilege to attend an event hosted by Sjöstadens Folketshusförening featuring internationally renowned pastry chef Magnus Johansson, whose bakery recently opened in my neighbourhood (lucky me!) and in whose studio the event was held.

Magnus Johansson is arguably Sweden’s most famous pastry chef and has been, among other ridiculously accomplished things, responsible for the Nobel Prize dinner dessert for 10 years, involved with the Swedish Culinary Team (Olympic winners) and was the pâtissier in charge of creating the King of Sweden’s 60th birthday party dessert. Today Magnus Johansson runs his own bakery and studio in Hammarby Sjöstad as well as a consultancy/training practice. Magnus remains the driving force behind the hugely successful Chocolate Festival in Stockholm, which this year celebrated its 10th anniversary. He has released several highly acclaimed books, the latest being ”Lyckas med choklad” (or “Succeed with chocolate”), which he spontaneously and kindly offered all event participants at a discounted price… and signed!

During his talk Magnus effortlessly discussed key moments in his career whilst he passed around samples of bread and little cookies, gave tips on successful professional and home baking, discussed areas within his industry that had room for improvement (for example, the certification of organic raw ingredients), answered questions and put together some chocolate mousse tasters for all of us.

His number one top tip was to always bake using ingredients at room temperature (and he joked that leaving an egg out overnight to bake with the next morning never killed anyone).

I love the idea of someday holding a party in the studio above the bakery for a bunch of “foodie friends” (with the floor space, kitchen facilities, licensing agreements and location, there are so many possibilities!). In the meantime I am currently awaiting a response to a query I sent regarding the Magnus Johansson gingerbread house decorating Christmas event to be held in the studio in December…

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