Erika Goytizolo

Erika Goytizolo is the woman behind Canta Lola in Stockholm. She has a past in London, worked for Ralph Lauren and Georg Jensen, Taverna Brillo and La Bocca in Stockholm. A year ago she opened up Canta Lola on Grev Turegatan in Stockholm, a restaurant where the food is in tune with the music.  I asked Erika some questions:

Peruvian cuisine is still on the rise, and the world’s best chef is Peruvian.  (Pia León) Do you notice that people are more curious about Peruvian cuisine today than before?

-The Peruvian trend has come to Sweden a bit in retrospect, but now it feels like even smaller cities are curious about the Peruvian food.

 What do you think will be the next big trend?

 -I am not an oracle, and I love to be surprised when I go out.  Countries like Azerbaijan and Turkey are interesting but what I think will be more popular is more authentic street food.  I think people would love to eat more that kind of food, simpler, tastier and more exciting and at the same time as it has flavors of other countries cuisines even though the ingredients might be local.  I believe and hope that we will see many more and smaller food festivals, a bit like Taste Stockholm but in a smaller format.  There is many people who would love to join the food festivals that often do not have access to kitchens. It would have been fun if we could encourage those who want to show off their food that they could borrow temporary kitchens.  That would encourage integration, community and it had brought joy and pride to so many!  If you think of the Swedes who emigrated to Minnesota, they cooked their food there and the same thing applies here with everyone who comes from all over the world.  I want to see more people sharing their native countries food!

 You have had guest appearances with Peruvian chefs at Canta Lola, is there anyone special that you would love to come and cook at Canta Lola?

 -I would like to have a relationship with the chefs who come here, and then I think the guests will feel and appreciate it, but of course it would have been fun if Pia León had come here.  There are some great chefs from Peru, so there are many to choose from.

 Tell us about how it all started?

 -The dream began when I lived in England in the nineties, but then children and the life puzzle started.  I worked for several years in both the kitchen and as a manager, which made me learn a lot.  I observed, worked in several different kitchens, on the floor and as a restaurant manager.  But it was when I met Per (Nordlind, Erika’s husband, a talented chef, restaurator and chairman of the board for Gastronomi Sweden / Bocuse D’Or) that I got to experience the whole thing in running a restaurant and the fantastic community that is there.  I simply fell in love with the restaurant scene, and when the children got a bit older, I felt that I wanted to invest and start a restaurant.  Hopefully I get to do this again several times in my life because I want to both give and learn more.  It’s so wonderful to be a bit of a beginner and to feel, ”wow I know this!”

 Is it difficult to get the ingredients you need?

 -Many ingredients are the same in Sweden that you have in Peru, but you use them in a different way.  The food we prepare is Peruvian – Latin American food that we prepare in our own way.  I buy some seasonings from Peru, like our basic chilies.  Today, however, you can find much of the food that we use in Peru here in Sweden, such as quinoa, which is a staple there.  When I first moved here, quinoa was not available, and for me who grew up on quinoa porridge, it was so strange.  The downside is that because so many people want quinoa all over the world, this staple has become more expensive in Peru, and not everyone can afford to eat it anymore.

 If you could recommend a dish that everyone should try on your menu, what would it be?

 -Our oysters that remind me of Peru and our Ceviche Lola.  Although it is not completely authentic, the flavors are there.  In Peru we do not eat oysters, but large mussels (Conchas) and my last summer in Peru I spent it by the sea where we ate at the small beach restaurants after swimming. We often ordered mussels with Brunoise on red onion, lime, celery and coriander, and these flavors are not exactly the same because it is not the same taste of the ingredients but the flavors are still there.  And everyone loves them, even those who say they do not eat oysters.

 What do you do to avoid food waste?

 -We try to use everything that can be used, I put away all small onion pieces, edges and other things to later boil broth on it.  But we also boil citrus from the bar into syrup for our cocktails.  We are not perfect, but we do as much as we can.

 Share one of your most memorable meals?

 -There are so many, but one is when I lived in London in the nineties.  In Olympia, West London, there was a large car park with a container where a Persian family cooked food.  It was crowded, smelled lots and was absolutely amazing!  I loved their saffron rice, Koobideh with egg yolk, grilled tomatoes, raw onions and sumac on top.

 Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

 -I would like to open another restaurant, but the details are secret… Another dream is that I have a van where I drive south with my pots and husband. I cook in some small town where I get to know the people, shop locally and then when I feel I’m done or have made a difference, I continue my journey.  A fantasy, but who knows…

 What other passions do you have besides food?

 -New experiences, my allotment and my new secret passion are shoes.

 Interview and photo Malin Nordblom

Erika and I, we have known each other for a really long time and share many passions like food and shoes…

This interview was first published in Swedish at


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

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