Running a kitchen is no easy job. However, Head Chef and previous MasterChef contestant, Theres Andersson seems to have it all under control. We speak to her about the challenges of working in a busy kitchen and the importance of teamwork in the hospitality sector.
Q. Talk us through your journey of becoming a chef?
A. I trained to become a chef in Sweden. I have been a chef for 20 years and I have been lucky enough to live in several countries. I’ve worked in Sweden, Italy, France and now London. Each country that you work in, the kitchens are run differently, and the management of the team is usually quite different too. I wanted to come out of Sweden to learn more, see more and experience new things. I always want to better myself, grow as a chef and learn new techniques that I can include in new dishes.
Q. Talk us through the menu.
A. The inspiration for my menu comes from my childhood – the type of food my mother used to make on the farm where I grew up as a child. I also take inspiration from Swedish cooking and dishes that I’ve created in Sweden as a chef. I take inspiration from other Chefs and Instagram but adapt my style to dishes with a unique twist. I work with fire and smoke, and I want to incorporate Scandinavian flavours to the dishes. All the dishes I put on the menu now have some smoke and fire – this is what I want in all the dishes.
Q. Challenges in the kitchen.
A. The biggest challenges are making sure that the team work well – we all work so very close together and many hours, so it is vital that you blend together. You are constantly learning something new each day so it’s important to be able to listen to each other, communicate well and be patient with one another. The team is very important to me – I can never say this is my menu, it’s a team collaboration.
Q. How do you manage everything?
A. I have a fabulous team in the kitchen, I’m the Head Chef but sometimes I do have a number of meetings and I need to have that confidence in my team to be handle things when I’m not there. For me, it’s very important to be in the kitchen – managing orders, checking deliveries, overseeing ingredients and cooking. It’s a very busy role but I love what I do and I think it’s great to be there for the team as much as possible. I always want to be there for my team – they are just fantastic.
Q. Talk us through your journey on MasterChef and how that helped you become the chef that you are today?
A. Competitions are tremendous for pushing yourself, being creative and thinking outside of the norms. You can learn so much from competitions and I am able to bring those learnings in my role today. My journey on MasterChef has helped me to encourage my team to become more involved in the dishes that we create. Then of course, MasterChef was a great learning experience for me, where I could learn from mistakes that were made and how I could improve on certain techniques going forward.
Q. Pipeline for rest of 2023?
A. We would like to keep the momentum high for the rest of 2023.