With eight prestigious titles in one year, Gothia Towers takes the lead in the Swedish restaurant world.
In addition, Upper House has been awarded its first Michelin star.
“It has been a fantastic year, full of activities and competitions,” says Krister Dahl, executive chef at Gothia Towers, who himself received the Special Award of the Year at Sweden’s Restauranggalan event.
In 2015 the Chef of the Year competition was held at Gothia Towers. That was the start of a major focus on competitions among the staff.
“For us it’s about creating commitment and developing an attractive workplace, where the staff are given the opportunity to grow,” says Krister, who is himself one of Sweden’s most successful chefs.
And this focus has borne fruit immediately, with World Championship Gold in the Valrhona Chocolate Chef Competition, Olympic Gold for the junior national team, Silver in the Global Chef Challenge, as well as Female Sommelier of the Year, Organic Chef of the Year, Waiter of the Year and Rising Star of the Year.
“That’s a lot of great awards, but the one that impresses me most is Waiter of the Year for Gustav Cansund. In many culinary competitions you get the ingredients well ahead of the competition and have the help of a whole team. For Waiter of the Year you are on your own, and you have to cope with all the elements yourself, including verbal tests. It’s incredibly difficult,” says Krister.
“Fredrik Andersson’s second place in the Global Chef Challenge in Athens is also impressive. It’s a global competition where the 20 best chefs compete for the title. I also think the junior national team, which included our own Kasper Kleihs, put on a strong performance to retain their Olympic Gold.”
These successes mean so much, not only for the award winner, but also for the entire group.
“Today we are one of the most attractive workplaces in the industry, and we invest so much in the facilities, the staff and the environment.”
Malin Franck, restaurant manager at Gothia Towers & the Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre, agrees.
“Awards are fantastic, of course, and for us it’s also about creating a culture that encourages staff members to develop. Awards bring us attention, but they also create expectations and we have to deliver when customers come here to dine.”
Next year has already got off to a good start, with Jesper Bogren reaching the final of Chef of the Year 2017 and Fredrik Andersson becoming the new manager of the Swedish Culinary Team.
“It would be great if we could win some kind of award for our elegant cocktail bar at Heaven 23,” says Krister.
Here are all the prizes and awards during 2016:
- Fredrik Borgskog – winner of the world final of the Valrhona Chocolate Chef Competition
- Fredrik Andersson – silver in the Global Chef Challenge
- Emma Ziemann, – Lily Bollinger of the Year, Sweden’s best female sommelier
- Gustav Cansund – Waiter of the Year
- Anton Husa – Rising Star of the Year
- Viktor Arabzadeh – Organic Chef of the Year
- Kasper Kleihs – Olympic Gold as one of the participants in the Junior Culinary Team
- Krister Dahl – Special Award of the Year
- Upper House – first Michelin star