Cook with Jacques and Friends


Emma Bengtsson

Eric Vitale Photography

Emma Bengtsson

Emma Bengtsson grew up in the small Swedish fishing village of Falkenberg where her grandmother was an avid home cook who inspired her to go on to study at the International Restaurant School in Stockholm at the age of 16. Emma went on to stage as a pastry chef at Edsbacka Krog — the only Swedish restaurant to hold two Michelin stars at the time. She then went on to work at Operakällaren within the Royal Swedish Opera as a pastry chef for five years.

In 2010, at 29-years-old, then Aquavit Executive Chef Marcus Jernmark recruited her to join the team as pastry chef. Her interpretation of classic Scandinavian desserts quickly garnered critical acclaim with Aquavit winning a Michelin star. Emma caught the attention of owner Hakan Swahn, who offered her the Executive Chef position in 2014 when Jernmark resigned. In 2016, under Emma’s culinary direction, Aquavit opened a second restaurant in London. At Aquavit, Emma is serving the kind of food she likes to eat. The fare is true to Scandinavia offering light and bright dishes with a focus on fresh ingredients, seafood and traditional methods like pickling and preserving.

Emma Bengtsson - Summer Vegetable Salad with Corn Purée

Summer Vegetable Salad with Corn Purée

The abundance of beautiful summer vegetables, lightly cooked to crisp-tender atop a bed of sweet puréed corn… what could be better!  A simple lunch or supper, or you can pair it with a protein of your choice to make a heartier dinner. For me, a roasted breast of Cornish game hen and leg confit is the perfect accompaniment, but a grilled steak or pan-seared salmon would work well.

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