Pedro Passinhas

Pedro Passinhas is a Portugese Le Cordon Blue och Michelin trained chef that has worked at several Michelin restaurants in London, Fat Duck, Gavroche and The Square. Today Pedro Passihas is running the portugese restaurant Botica in Stockholm.

Could you tell us why you became a chef?

-Growing up, my parents used to take me out to restaurants a lot from a young age and I loved it.  I got to explore so many different cuisines and I liked the buzz of a busy restaurant. It really got me curious about how varied food could be in terms of flavours, textures and the combinations. Once I started to cook for myself, I found inspiration everywhere. 

What is the biggest challenge with cooking Portuguese food in Sweden? 

-Portuguese food is very simplistic in that we want to respect the natural flavours of the ingredients.  Nothing is over processed in any way.  This means freshness of ingredients is key. Biggest challenge is sourcing fresh ingredients, with full flavours without compromising too much on sustainability.  We are flexible with ingredients for this reason and this may mean the menu needs to change. 

Could you describe yourself with five words?

-Passionate, creative, amiable, generous, and gregarious. 

How much of your Michelin skills can you use nowadays?

-It’s hard to shake off that training!  I don’t want to overwhelm with too complex techniques but I do sneak in plenty of cool concepts into our dishes as I want people to feel “at home”, yet have an exciting delicious meal. 

If you should recommend one dish at your menu which one would it be? 

-The piri-piri chicken of course! Traditional, and everyone at all ages seem to love it. 

Could you share a memorable cooking moment from your days in London?

The first time I cooked for my now wife.  I made a halibut with a raw fennel salad.  She was vegetarian at the time but I didn’t know!  But she loved it. To this day, she tells me I’m responsible for converting her into a pescatarian. 

What do you look at first when you visit another restaurant?

-The welcome you get (or not in some cases). I think food is only one of the critical aspects of a restaurant. Service is very important. You want every customer to get a warm welcome.

What would you work with if you  weren’t a chef?

-I’m a total sound geek, so definitely a sound engineer. 

Do you try to cook in a sustainable way? 

-Absolutely. Whenever possible, our menu is adapted for local seasonal produce. Which is what I said earlier about being flexible with ingredients. 

What is the biggest inspiration for you to come up with new dishes? 

-Sweden has four very distinct seasons which I find very inspiring.  Each season comes with main characters for my dishes. Autumn is dominated by root vegetables, winter soups and stews, spring gets dominated by wild garlics and ramsons, fresh onions and herbs which I love .

Your favourite Swedish dish?

-Västerbottenpaj.  Anything with chanterelles.

What are your future aspirations?

-I’d like to have a space in town, serving chicken piri piri and petiscos, in a casual, cosy, if this will ever be possible again post Covid, one can only hope, not to big space.
To this space I’d like to add a Portuguese bakery and a Portuguese Deli, all filled with Portuguese charcuterie, conserves such as the tinned seafood, olive oils, vinegars. We have so much produce in Portugal.
Big dreams but I think it’s possible and will be very successful. Need an investor somewhere down the line . Anyway I digress.
To best summarise I’d like to bring Portuguese culture to Stockholm via food and artisanal products.

The interview was first published in Swedish for Gourmet:

Interview and photo Malin Nordblom

Med Pedro, sommelier Tiago och min kära vän Sonja på Botica.



EAT, DRINK, TRAVEL AND ENJOY! Love traveling for food! E-Mail: Insta: fabfoodieswede

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