For Norwegian celebrity chef GEIR SKEIE, cooking can be just as competitive as football. If you’re trying to make it from an island in the west coast, perseverance is key…
Geir, how did you go from Fitjar (a small village on the west coast) to become the Bocuse d’Or World Champion?
I started cooking at home, making small things at first… muffins, pancakes and so on. Then I began making dinners for my parents when they came home from work. When I was 13, I saw a programme with Ingrid Espelid Hovig (the Julia Child of Norway). All my friends wanted to be the world’s best football player, so I saw Bent Stianson become the first Scandinavian winner of the Bocuse d’Or and decided to be the world’s best chef. And, once I had the support of Norway’s former Bocuse d’Or competitors, I entered the competition.
“All my friends wanted to be the world’s best football player … I decided to be the world’s best chef”
You won the the Bocuse d’Or Europe in 2008 and the Bocuse d’Or Monde in 2009. What did the competition involve?
The European championships is done on a touring basis, and in 2008 it was near me in Stavanger. The best ten go biannually to the world championships in Lyon. My restaurant in Sandefjord serves seafood in a casual setting. The ‘New Nordic’ revolution is definitely in Norway, and has been for some years. Noma kicked if off in 2004, but we’re part of it, simply because we’re proud of our ingredients.
GEIR SKEIE is a Norwegian chef, and the owner of Brygga 11 in Sandefjord.
This article is a Fika Online exclusive.