“I was at Fäviken for about ten months over winter so it was extremly dark. First thing you would do in the morning was to hop on the 4-wheel drive, go and pich birch leaves, moss and juniper berries – it was such a different way to work. At the same time it was very frustrating because we had this enormous window in the kitchen overlooking Åreskutan so you were working really hard and it was quite painful just looking at the mountain all day long.”
I first met Billy White at a book release event at Rosendals trädgård where I was asked to perform a short Q&A with the authors.
Billy, one of the authors, is also the head chef at Rosendals. The two books being released was Moonvalley Diaries by Emelie Forsberg, Ida Nilsson and Mimmi Kotka – and Billys own book Eat, Run, Enjoy! both on Gawell publishing.
Billy White was a perfect fit for Husky: a passionate and dedicated runner with a very interesting specialty since he is a top chef with experience from the kitchens of Guide Michelin star restaurants such as St. JOHN in London, Restaurant Mathias Dahlgren in Stockholm and the almost mythical Fäviken in Åre.
We talk about his childhood growing up just outside York in England, about the importance of skateboarding, doing seasons in the Alps, ending up in catering school and how he eventually found himself understanding why anyone would wanna work as a chef.
“I think I was tweny one, I had done a couple of ski seasons in the Alps and I went to eat with some friends at a restaurant in my home town that was also a very good one. Sitting down and eating this plate of food that was really exceptional it sort of made me realise ‘Aha so this is why people stand for twelve hours a day, getting screamed at by egotistical maniacs…it is because this plate of food!’ From that point I started to take cooking a bit more serious.”
We talk about “nose to tail cooking”, about becoming obsessed with cooking and how he ended up working with Mathias Dahlgren in Stockholm via Noma in Copenhagen.
We talk about the polarized debate with regards to cooking and running, why and how running makes him a better chef, about working in Fäviken and how he started to run.
“We had spent a couple of months in Jämtland and we were just driving back to Stockholm when, stuck in a two hour traffic jam, I got a phone call from Magnus Nilsson at Fäviken who asked me if I still wanted to work with him. We pretty much turned the car back around and went there.”
We talk about his book where he meets with runners Ricky Lightfoot, Emelie Forsberg, Ida Nilsson, Mimmi Kotka, Zach Miller and the extremly fascinating Courtney Dauwalter. We talk about the village Huså in Åre, about running the coast to coast trail in the Lake District in England which ment doing seven marathons in seven days and the inspiration from the book Born to Run.
“If your great grandparents wouldnt recognize something as food – then you probably shouldn’t eat it”
The Swedish Outdoor Podcast Husky is recorded with support from Naturkompaniet.
Original photos © Patrik Engström / Gawell förlag
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