Chef Paul Svensson
Chef Paul Svensson

Erica Wissman


Local sustainable circularity and zero waste at SXSW

A zero-waste approach will apply to the food at House of Scandinavia in Austin.

Swedish chef Paul Svensson is at the forefront of a zero-waste movement in Sweden. At SXSW, he and his Danish and Norwegian colleagues are looking at bringing Scandinavian techniques and flavors to Texan dishes, offering plant-based takes on the local cuisine. For complete circularity, the waste products from producing one dish will be used to create another, keeping the resulting waste to an absolute minimum.

The culinary team will be producing three dishes for the SAS House of Scandinavia VIP diners.

Ahead of the festival they will meet with, and learn from, local growers, food suppliers and supermarkets to look at the waste products that they have and are unable to sell. Then they will create three dishes which use this local waste, to produce high quality, fine dining meals which work well alongside those produced by our partner chef teams. Any produce used that is not deemed “waste" will be local, organic and seasonal to Austin in March.

Paul Svensson

Chef, creative leader and caretaker of the Planet

Paul Svensson is 42 years old with three kids and a cat. Living in the beautiful Stockholm Archipelago, he spends much of his spare time in the garden and with his bee hives.

Paul started his chefing career in the Navy in 1993 and became overwhelmed with the idea of becoming a great chef. After the navy, he took this passion overseas, studing the culinary arts in Tuscany, England and France.

After his training, Paul began his career in London working in several restaurants, including  with Marco Pierre White for 1,5 years. On return to Sweden, Paul joined the team of Mathias Dahlgren at Bon lloc in Stockholm for many years, working his way up to Headchef. It was during this time that Svensson competed for Sweden in Bocuse d’or in 2003, placing 5th overall.

Paul is known for his work as a TV-Chef. He features on the jury in several shows including Landgång on SVT, junior top chef and has produced two of his own shows -  one tackling the the subject of school dinners, and one looking at food waste and how to reduce it.

In everything he does, Paul works with a focus on zero waste kitchens, and sustainable pleasure – a subject on which he regularly speaks.

Currently, Paul is inspiring and running the plant-based restaurant at ”Fotografiska”, the Museum of photography,  which according to Leading Culture Destinations Award has been named ”The Worlds Best Museum 2017”. Also in 2017, Paul was named as one of the chefs on the ”Plant Forward Global 50” list, developed by a partnership of the Culinary Insitute of America and the Eat Forum. He operated a five month pop up in summer 2018 called ”ReTaste” which created fine dining menus cooking only food waste from local supermarket partners, and he is planning to open a new and permanent sustainable restaurnt in Stockholm with an urban farm and local produce shop attached in Autumn 2019.

Kamilla Seidler

Latin America’s Best Female Chef

Kamilla SeidlerKamilla Seidler is a Danish Chef, bon in Copenhagen, living in La Paz. She's on a mission to champion Bolivian Cuisine and was awarded Latin America’s Best Female Chef 2016. 

When people meet Kamilla Seidler for the first time, they’re often baffled: who is this pale-skinned, blonde-haired Danish woman with perfect Spanish at the helm of Bolivia’s No.1 restaurant? But the unlikely champion of Bolivian cuisine has done more for gastronomy in her adopted country in recent years than any local chef, earning herself the title of “Dane of the Andes”.

Before moving to Bolivia in 2012, Seidler’s cooking career was already on firm footing. She had worked in some of the world’s best kitchens, from Mugaritz in San Sebastián and Belmond Le Manoir Aux Quat’Saisons in Oxfordshire, to locally celebrated restaurants Paustian and Geist in her native Copenhagen.

Keeping a menu 100% Bolivian at the country’s most successful fine dining restaurant is somewhat of a challenge, but it’s one to which Seidler is firmly committed. With a huge sense of responsibility to farmers and producers across the country, she wants to make sure a fair price is always paid and that local workers receive an education as well as an income.

This means developing dishes based on whatever the farmers want to sell, be it not-so-dainty purple potatoes or huge quantities of alligator.

A combination of natural talent and culinary creativity allows Seidler to transform the most basic Bolivian products, like anticuchos, or beef heart skewers, into beautiful dishes fit for the fine dining table.

But her success goes beyond the restaurant and across South America, where she spends time travelling to study and educate people to use the right products responsibly.

Atli Mar Yngvarson

Head Chef at the trendy Katla restaurant in Oslo

“A hell of a good chef,” is likely to be most people’s first comment when asked to describe Atli Mar Yngvarson, the 36-year-old Icelander who runs the newly-opened restaurant Oslo Katla.

Not that he’s new to the scene though. Atli’s culinary mastery has long attracted food enthusiasts to the Norwegian capital, where he previously made a name for himself as head chef at the restaurant Pjoltergeist, which has been described as “the greatest casual restaurant in Norway.”

Things never stand still in the world of culinary excellence, so despite the huge success of Pjoltergeist, the search for new inspiration and a desire to create something fresh led to the closure of the restaurant in June 2018, five years after it opened. By then it was already clear that Atli would open a new restaurant and Norwegian foodies were curious to see what he would come up with next. 

They didn’t have to wait too long fortunately. It only took two months until Atli’s new venue Katla opened its doors on August 28 last year. And in just a couple of months, the restaurant has predictably gained a reputation as one of Norway’s best and trendiest restaurants.

"From day one we had planned that we would only have the Pjoltergeist for 5 years and in 2018 I opened Katla together with Lava Oslo”, says Atli. “Its a similar style of food as Pjoltergeist but in a bigger location and most of our cooking is on charcoaled grill and a wood fired oven."

Katla is named after the Icelandic volcano, and in the heart of the open kitchen is the restaurant’s own burning wonder – a large wood-fired grill where most of the dishes are made. Back in the kitchen meanwhile, the chef draws inspiration from his Icelandic origins, but he’s also heavily influenced by Asian and Mexican cuisine.

"We only use the best produce available and we serve it in a simple way, the flavors can be local Latin American or Asian. I try to work as much as possible with local produce. Norway has in my opinion the best seafood in the world and in recent years local vegetable farms have been blooming."

After a trip to Noma Mexico in Tulum last year, he added even more Mexican elements to his menu. Tacos, steam bun burgers, takoyaki, frozen margaritas – all classics made with a unique twist are available at Katla. And perhaps even for someone renowned for the extraordinary, even Atli Mar Yngvarson must be slightly taken aback to hear himself hailed as “The best Mexican chef in Oslo!”


A quick word with... Paul Svensson

House of Scandinavia - a perfect "lokal"

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