Inventive Swedish chef Magnus Ek and his sommelier partner Agneta Green are closing their cult-status restaurant Oaxen Krog located on a small island in the Stockholm archipelago. Reserve now: there are 68 days left.
While this summer’s closure of legendary restaurant El Bulli has been much lauded by the foodie community, Ferran Adria is not the only influential chef to be closing shop in the months ahead. On a small private island in the Stockholm archipelago, pioneering chef Magnus Ek and his sommelier partner Agneta Green are overseeing the final season of their summer restaurant Oaxen Krog, Opened in 1994, for the last five years running the eatery has been included on the list of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants, achieving cult cuisine status not only due to its unusually remote location (it is only accessible from Stockholm by boat) but also for its radical menu based on new ingredients or forgotten products used in new ways. Highlights from Oaxen Krog’s a la carte menu include a frozen salad and tart beetroot water with asparagus from Mörkö, lumpfish roe, air-dried coalfish with cold pressed rapeseed oil, or oysters and pike-perch in port foam with bladderwrack (seaweed) purée and curds granité with wild chive water. Ek is passionate about local ingredients, with all produce being sourced from Sweden and some from its tiny Oaxen island home. The signature dish on its ever-changing menu is pig’s head, which each summer is served in a variety of inventive concoctions. Matched perfectly with wine expert Green’s list of organic vins from small producers, and delivered in a wildly beautiful island setting, Oaxen Krog is a spectacle that goes beyond being a mere restaurant. Reserve a table now – in the culinary equivalent of Concorde’s last flight, Oaxen Krog closes its doors (and jetty) on September 30 as Ek and Green move onto their next unconventional restaurant project.
“Sixteen years ago we decided to settle down at a decayed lime-stone quarry on an island called “Unpleasant Island” by old times seafarers, thence the odd name Oaxen. Here in the former managing director’s residence, we have tried with limited means slowly chiselled our vision of Oaxen Krog ~ a culinary experience where modern ideas equally get on well with old traditions and ancient knowlegde. Our aim is that the best of products in harmony with carefulness down to the smallest detail will offer a memorable restaurant visit to our guests.
We would like to offer a meal with crops and herbs from our own garden as well as selected ones nearby, wild herbs from the island, ecological meat from local producers and fish from clean waters. Many of our wines come from ecologically cultivated grapes and the drinking water we serve is local from our own well here at Oaxen. We humbly adjust to nature’s own supply and the variety of seasons, from the south to the north. What is setting the menus here at Oaxen Krog is the simple law of nature.”
- Magnus Ek and Agneta Green
“Our pig’s head has become a signature dish at Oaxen. We change the dish but the head is always cooked the same way.”
Recipe: Pig’s Head
-1/2 pig’s head
-1 garlic (split in half)
-1 small bunch of thyme
-1 small bunch of sage
-½ dl salt
1. Rinse clean the pig’s head from blood. Rub the head with salt and add the garlic and herbs in a vacuum bag. Let it stay in the fridge for 3 days.
2. Then bake the head for 2 days in a oven at 65°C. Remove it and cool. This can be done several days in advance.
3. Rinse your head clean, splash on some vinegar and bake in a tray in a medium dry oven at 180°C for 45 minutes.
4. Remove the pork from the oven and press the meat from the bone using a spatula. Cut the meat into slices and serve.
Highlights from the inventive menu at Restaurant Oaxen Krog:
Frozen salad and tart beetroot water with asparagus from Mörkö, lumpfish roe, air-dried coalfish with cold pressed rapeseed oil
Oysters and pike-perch in port foam with bladderwrack purée and curds granité with wild chive water.
Tartare of moose fillet and raw shrimp with mustard cream, purée of pickled juniper berries & roasted grain.
Herring and lobster with elderflower capers with browned butter with sprouted almond, root parsley purée and caraway flavoured breadcrumbs.
Luke warm Norwegian lobster & chargrilled cod head with pine infused white cabbage, turnip cabbage and pike roe in buttered yoghurt whey.
Roasted Skilleby garlic with purée of salt-baked celeriac, air-dried saddle of veal and scallop cooked in the shell with forest bouillon.
Crisp fried pork shoulder baked in bouillon with roasted Jerusalem artichoke and compote of dried cherries seasoned with juniper berries & smoked marrow.
Fried black pudding and pork belly glazed with maple syrup from Blaxta, roasted leeks, toasted fennel seeds and Oaxen cold smoked wild boar sausage with apple and red wine jus.
Lightly salted Skilleby duck with butter-cooked duck egg and raw-fried cauliflower with roasted duck bouillon foam.
Braised ox spareribs and thinly sliced heifer fillet from Järna filled with creamed lard with chargrilled root vegetables and onion with roasted oat pearls.
“I use wild herbs, lichen and rock weed from the island very often in my food.”
“The look of the plate is the most important thing until you taste it. After that, it’s just a bonus. But when you see the dish, you must always want to eat it.”
Restaurant Oaxen Krog is accessible by ferry from Stockholm. The restaurant closes on September 30. For reservations:
+46 8 551 531 05