Thomas was born and raised in a small village outside of Umeå in the north of Sweden. When he was 18 he moved to Gothenburg to attend the local marine culinary school, where you learn to plan and cook at sea. But things turned around, and Thomas never headed out to sea. Instead he started working at some of the best restaurants in Gothenburg, and is currently found at award-winning Swedish Taste in the Gothenburg harbour.

Thomas Sjögren, Swedish TasteWhat is the most inspiring aspect of working at Swedish Taste?
– The variety of tasks gives a good pulse to working here. I alternate between working during the lunch service and on catering missions to leading culinary courses in the studio and cooking fine dining in the restaurant.

Why did you want to move to Gothenburg?
– I like the city! It has a small town vibe, and I like the atmosphere and the calmness. It's fantastic to live so close to the ocean, with its supply of high quality produce. I very much enjoy working with local produce, and here at Swedish Taste we buy lamb, mushrooms and sea buckthorn from nearby producers.

During 2013 you got a scholarship to work in Chicago, one of Gothenburg's sister cities. What was that like?
– It was a cool experience and we worked, ate and saw so much! During the last three days of the trip we attended the food festival Chicago Gourmet where chefs from Chicago's sister cities from all over world cooked together with local star restaurants. It was inspiring, and I particulary enjoyed the Chicagoan dining-out culture. They have a great selection of mid-range restaurants where you can have a tasty – and affordable – dinner. I would like to open one myself in the future!

2013-11-11, updated 2014-12-11.