Joakim Almqvist, Swedish Chef, Angler and Entrepreneur

Joakim Almqvist started his career as a dish washer at the monastery in Vadstena, Sweden. He then moved up to Ölbaren in Åre and then to Stockholm. After a while he opened up one of the most talked about restaurants in Swden, Punk Royale in Stockholm with Kalle Nilsson. Nowadays you can also find Punk Royale in Copenhagen, and they he have taken over Coco & Carmen in Stockholm. I asked Jocke some questions:

Is there any chef you think is a good example? 
– René Redzepi.

Did you study to become a chef?
– I learned it all on my own, I went to an Angling School. But I realised that food and the restaurant business was interesting, so I ended up there.

Any favourite ingredient in your cooking? 
– The kitchen;)

Your biggest achievement?
During year 2018 I got a better life! I am happy, sober, in love and successful!

Why did you choose to become a chef?
– I have always loved food, and the freedom to express myself with food.

Your favourite kitchen?
– Sweden.

One of your best food experiences? 
– That is hard to answer.. I go for the Fat Duck in England. But food is just a nourishment. I was out fishing once, and I only ate porridge. That is a very strong memory for me, and I realised then that I really like food!

What gives you inspiration?
– For the moment my coworkers and the everyday life. And to see how we really live, trying out new things like if it is nice to eat with your hands.

Best food to seduce someone with?
– Oysters are really good when the water is cold, or strawberries during the strawberry season.

Your favourite kitchen tool?
– The finest Microplane grater.

What is the worst thing that happened at the restaurant? – Once we had to close down the restaurant because a power cut! And once a siphon exploded!

Do you have some dreams about what you wanna start up? 
– A 24/7 experience where you can take care of the guest fully. So that they really get pampered. Breakfast, lunch and dinner. But the food should just be a part of the experience.

Best fast food in Copenhagen?
– Gasoline Grill.

What do you have to have at your Christmas Table? –Janssons! (Janssons Temptation is a traditional creamy fish and potato gratin)

Jocke and I outside Punk Royale in Stockholm.

Interview and photo by Malin Nordblom

The interview was first published in Swedish at

Text and photo Malin Nordblom

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