Home chef of the year – the finale

Just before the finals. We had to wear Tasteline’s white aprons and hats, but luckily we had our lovely red aprons that Anne’s sister Eva kindly sewed to us.

Wow, I don’t know where to start. First of all thanks for all comments, calls, emails, text and facebook messages that I have received after Anne, Lena and I won the title Home chef of the year / Årets hemmakock! And of course my warmest thanks and hugs to Anne and Lena for being such fantastic team mates. I feel overwhelmed, surprised, honoured, and very very happy!

So let me present the home chefs of the year: Team Sörmland or actually Anne, Lena and myself. Due to a business trip Lena wasn’t able to participate in the finals yesterday. While I and Anne were competing, Lena impatiently sat in an airplane heading to the US. But we had a photo of her at our cooking station, so she was still with us in a way :-)

The days before I was quite stressed and nervous, but all nervousness disappeared as we got up on the stage and started focusing on the cooking. We had 45 minutes to finalize our Stockholm chili that we had already prepared with Lena the evening before. Since the main ingredient for the competition was cut of beef from the front part, being quite tough, all four finalists had to prepare the meat in advance. There was also an improvisation moment during the 45 minutes. Ten minutes before we were allowed to start cooking we received a list of ingredients that were available for an appetizer that we had to cook. The list was a bit disappointing, but we came up with a few ideas. We decided to do a mixture consisting of crème fraîche, marinated bell peppers, lemon zest, garlic and black pepper that we wrapped in Serrano ham and placed on a mixed salad with apple cider vinegar and croutons. On top we sprinkled newly fried capers. The minutes passed by very quickly: we started with rolling out dough for our spelt crackers, sprinkled them with Ancho chili and sea salt. Then we baked them in the oven. We prepared the condiments to the chili: chopped onion, grated cheese, chopped cilantro, oven roasted tomatoes and crème fraîche. The filling to the appetizer was prepared, the Serrano ham was filled and rolled and the capers were fried. And most important: the chili was finalized so it would taste perfect. When we had 10 minutes left I started to fear that we wouldn’t make it in time. But with 40 seconds left, we had plated all food and were ready to present 5 plates with appetizers and 5 plates with Stockholm chili to the jury.

It was a challenge to cook on stage in front of 300 people. We didn’t have any water in our kitchens and it was extremely cramped. But we did our best and we were focused while having fun. But still it was a relief to get off the stage and be able to relax. It was lovely t to sit down, drink some water and speak with our husbands. Both me and Anne were quite sure we wouldn’t win, despite the fact that we were pleased with our effort. The jury, well known in the food and restaurant industry, consisted of Kurt Weid, Markus Aujalay, Ingrid Eriksson, Ella Nilsson and Alice Brax. We had the impression that the jury was a bit traditional and thus wouldn’t pick our chili. When they finally were about the present the winner, they only had one bouquet of flowers with them on stage so I thought that we definitly hadn’t won. Then Kurt Weid started reading the motivation. After the first sentence I got even more convinced that it wasn’t us. But when the second sentence was read I became a little bit confused as it suited our entry the best. But still, I thought that Skåne was the winner and I even said it load when Kurt Weid asked the audience who the winner was. And suddenly Kurt said “Sörmland”, loud music started playing and everyone started applauding.
I was taken aback. Surprised. Shocked. Honoured. OMG we won! I can’t describe how overwhelming and happy that moment was. And still is.

The jury’s motivation:

    “The winner has made good use of the raw materials and has in an inspiring way raised taste and consistency to a high level. The modern presentation of the main course becomes a symbol for the province’s development and future.”

Anne is answering questions while cooking.

Two of the other contestants: Johan competing for the province Skåne and Per competing for the province Härjedalen.

Here we have just returned to the kitchen after presenting our food to the jury. One of the presenters, Lisa, is asking questions about our food.

They were filming and putting it on display so every one in the audience would see what was happening on the stage.

Waiting for the results. Here you can see a part of the audience.

Just a few seconds after we were announced as the winners. You can see our surprised looks.

One of the prizes, a culinary trip to the Swedish province Jämtland including a cooking class. We also received a knife and cast iron pan.

The presenters, Erik Haag och Lisa Förare Winbladh, are talking with us a few minutes after the announcement. To the right Magdalena Kvarning from Tasteline.

The photos were taken by Fredrik.

21 Responses to “Home chef of the year – the finale”

  1. Fredrik
    November 15th, 2008 00:06

    Jättegrattis. Var och tittade, ni ägde :)

  2. Michael
    November 15th, 2008 02:27

    congratulations on winning! and might I add that you look lovely in the pictures :)

  3. Executive Chef
    November 15th, 2008 17:35

    Congratulations for winning. Such types of contest s really encourage people to improve upon their culinary arts.



  4. Lisa
    November 15th, 2008 18:24

    Grattis det var välförtjänt! Er mat var godast av det jag smakade.

  5. Tessa
    November 15th, 2008 18:57

    Congratulations! I am visiting from Anne’s blog and am interested to read yours too.

  6. Maggie
    November 15th, 2008 20:31

    Grattis till vinsten! Jag måste bara fråga, den turkosa le creuseten, har ni köpt den i sverige? Var var var? Jag har cravings, men alla butiker som jag har pratat med säger att färgen inte finns. Här finns värsta bildbeviset!

  7. Daga
    November 16th, 2008 00:44


  8. Fakespear
    November 16th, 2008 01:26

    Jättebra skrivet. :)

  9. baking soda
    November 17th, 2008 09:52

    Congratulations! What a great effort (love the aprons, the hats? not so much haha). Wonderful job, enjoy the prize!

  10. Bea
    November 17th, 2008 17:30

    Gratulacje Dagmaro!!!

  11. Dagmar
    November 17th, 2008 22:10

    Fredrik: Tack så mycket!!! Kul att du var där!

    Michael: Thank you very much :-)

    Alice: Thanks!

    Lisa: Tusen tack! Jätteroligt att höra! Det var kul att träffas!

    Tessa: Welcome! Thank you!

    Maggie: Just den grytan på bilden tillhör Tasteline. Men jag var i kontakt med Le Creuset i våras och de sa att det går att beställa genom valfri återförsäljare. Jag kom dock aldrig så långt eftersom jag hann få en turkos Le Creuset i present (köpt i England). Men det skall gå att beställa!

    Daga: Bardzo dziekuje!

    Fakespear: Tack :-)

    baking soda: Thank you!!! I agree regarding the hats, but we had to wear them :-)

    Bea: Slicznie dziekuje!

  12. Helene Garcia
    November 18th, 2008 02:36

    and may i add your blog to my Kooks Korner link?


  13. Liska
    November 18th, 2008 12:04

    Gratulacje! Serdecznie gratuluję i cieszę się razem z Wami :)

  14. grace
    November 20th, 2008 10:15

    Congratulation,Dagmar. Great work, so happy that you finally become the winner. Hope Yoshi & Tanuki were happy, too :)

  15. Moria
    November 23rd, 2008 14:56

    Så stas at dere vant! Gratulerer :D

  16. Julie Pia
    November 29th, 2008 19:12

    I’m so happy for you Dagmar. What an exciting event. You really must be an amazing chef! Congrats to you! love, Julie Pia

  17. Jeanne
    December 29th, 2008 20:11

    Well done to you all! The dish you made sounds fantastic – a well-deserved win :)

  18. Toni
    February 24th, 2009 21:46

    congratulations :) wow that must have been a wonderful and exciting experience!

    March 27th, 2009 22:44

    Ohmy. Thats is so exciting and great creative use of ingrediants for the Serrano rolls.

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