Ever wonder what it’s like to dine like an Ambassador? The embassy scene is mostly closed to everyone other than high level politicians and visiting diplomats. Rarely are there opportunities to see what’s cooking behind those closed doors. Which leaves many residents of Washington wondering, “Who’s got the hottest chef?” and “Who’s serving the hottest cuisine at the moment?”
If you guessed the Swedish Embassy, you’re in the know. Besides plates of luscious smoked salmon and pickled herring, the Swedes have new tricks up their sleeves. Consider smoked elk, rosemary ice cream, blood pudding and quail egg– these are just a few of Sweden Embassy Chef Frida Johansson’s delicacies served to guests of the Swedish Embassy in Washington DC.
Calling themselves “the new Culinary Nation,” the Swedish government has become a destination for foodies seeking new frontiers. With obvious challenges, like total darkness every winter and extreme cold, Nordic chefs learned to cultivate natural resources like ligonberries, fresh seafood and regional animal products to create startlingly appetizing dishes.
Chef Johansson receives accolades from Capricia Penavic Marshall, Chief of Protocol at the US Department of State. Ambassador Penavic recently selected the Swedish Embassy to play host to a visiting cadre of American food journalists. The five-course meal in this elegant, cheerful residence brought sighs of contentment from many jaded professional eaters. I was one of those lucky few. I’m still thinking about that meal….