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Style, innovation & equality

If you like the Amalfi coast, this new concept by the team behind one of the world’s best bars is for you

And it’s the opposite of ”New Nordic cuisine”.

Words: Johan Magnusson

Joel Söderbäck, Robert Rudinski, and Andreas Bergman established Mediterranean bar and restaurant, wine-bar and beer café Tjoget in the vibrant district of Södermalm in Stockholm in 2012. They’ve worked hard and stayed focus over the years which has paid off, securing a spot on the ”World’s 50 best bars” list for several years.

— It started with local claim and loads of rewards, then it became international and the rest is history, says Söderbäck.

How would you describe the Scandinavian food and beverage scene?

— I’d say we are really good at making concept based on both great food and great drinks. For Sweden, it’s in our spine because of our special laws regarding liquor-license saying you have to serve food if you want to serve alcohol. So why not cover both those areas and do it great? We also have good work-ethic/morale which keeps everything on a professional level. The climate up here isn’t optimal for a good food scene but somehow we manage.

— We have an amazingly riche culture of drinking in Scandinavia. We are famous or even infamous for it. I love the aquavit and new style of gins coming out of Sweden, our craft in the north is amazing and on the forefront of the scene. We wish to see more bartenders opening bars and restaurants!

However, Söderbäck and his team are not really fond of the New Nordic cousine.

— We don’t really understand why people want to eat fir-cones, beets and pickled stuff in fancy restaurants that overcharge you for everything. That food was always the stuff we never wanted as children and now everybody is paying insane amounts of money for it. We don’t believe the hype.

And is there anything that is special for it, compared with outside of our region?

— The rest of Europe are not afraid of a glass of wine for lunch, cocktails on a Thursday at 4PM or Bellini for breakfast. We hope to change that in the Swedish drinking culture. Lunch Negronis will be served at Positano.

Yes, Positano. Tell us about your new place, opening in November at Nordiska Kompaniet in Stockholm.

— It’s named after the village along the Amalfi coast in Campania. A place where you want to be! Serving hot food, cold beverages, sweets and gelato all day every day. We’re doing some fun stuff at our lunch and aim to provide some of the best after work and Aperitivo the city has to offer. That includes Limoncello from lemons grown along the Amalfi coast.