Gustav Trägårdh, Sjömagasinet.Gustav – why did you decide to become a chef?
– I didn't! The profession kind of chose me! I was actually studying engineering but that didn't really work out. Someone suggested restaurant school and here I am, 17 years later.

You have worked abroad – tell us about that.
– I worked for a season at The Waterside Inn in England – an internationally
acclaimed restaurant with three Michelin Stars run by Alain Roux. Of course,
working in a place like The Waterside Inn really opens your eyes in terms of
quality and attention to detail.

– I've also worked in so many other countries, mainly promoting Sweden and its
culinary heritage. This involves working with embassies abroad and off the top of
my head, I've been to London, Paris, Vienna, Berlin, Hong Kong, Milan and
many more places I'm sure I'd remember given time.

What's your opinion of Göteborg's culinary scene?
– The city is over represented with great restaurants. I think the people are a little spoiled here. While this is a good thing, I think there is a tendency to be a little too conservative. At the same time, I firmly believe in giving the guest what they want.

I get a kick from seeing people enjoy food – when this happens, I guess I feel like Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Can you give us an example of what this might be?
– Pan-fried turbot with a lobster ragu, truffle mayonnaise and white asparagus – followed by a crème brulee.

Sounds delicious – in your opinion, what kind of ingredients characterise the
spring season?
– My personal favourites? Dairy products are always in my thoughts. Also, small, tasty Morel mushrooms, white asparagus – and why not rhubarb too? Rhubarb is delicious, grows freely and easily and is so flexible. Obviously, it can be used in desserts but it's also fantastic as an accompaniment to duck liver and cheeses.

You were Swedish Chef Of The Year in 2010. After winning such an award,
what keeps you motivated?
– My kids! They need bikes, clothes and a million other things! That’s good
motivation! Seriously, I get a kick from seeing people enjoy food – when this
happens, I guess I feel like Zlatan Ibrahimovic when he scores a great goal – it’s
nice to see happy faces.

2012-03-21, updated 2014-12-11.