Ten days in Atrio

I have almost finished my first ten days at restaurant Atrio. Ten days of many new impressions and lots of frustration. Frustration because I always have to think before I talk – if I can talk! It´s getting better and better for each day, and step by step I learn new words. But nothing is more frustrating when you are in a middle of a situation and you can´t explain either why or what you are doing.

Traditional Swedish Semla

When people have to say the same question three times before you understand and when people think you are stupid just because you don´t understand what they are saying. Nothing is more frustrating when you start a conversation and can´t finish it because you don´t know the words to use. Nothing is more frustrating when people have to ask other people to translate into English, and nothing is more frustrating when you want to explain a recipe but having no idea of the names of the ingredients. But I guess this is a normal part of learning a new language so I keep on moving. So what have I learnt so far…except for all new words. This week words may be “Aquaturmia” or should I say Sunchoke/Jerusalem artichoke?

I´ve so far been working in the cold section preparing starters and snacks. Raw shrimps with cream and caviar or cream of foie gras with seps and parmesan is plates that I usually prepare. I have to say that I getting quite good of peeling and cleaning shrimps at the moment. Not as good as I was of peeling cocktail tomatoes at The French Laundry when I left in December but almost. The crew is very nice and I can´t complain of the way they are taking care of me – as I said earlier, not common in our business. I got my own little project this day creating a plate of my specialty, sunchoke- and oyster cream with cucumber, pickled sunchokes and ashes.

This week it´s also a very special day in Sweden, what we call “fettisdagen”. A long tradition of a special bun starts at this day and almost all Swedish people eat this bun this week. “Semla” is a sweet wheat bun stuffed with marzipan and topped with whipped cream. The most traditional way of serving the bun is with hot milk, but these days more people eat them straight up. So I took the chance and prepared some “Selma” for the guys. Huge success and the all loved it. Over and out, see you soon from Cáceres.

Christofer Johansson

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