KNUT Restaurant: The wilderness of the north meets urban civilisation
By Lotta Lassesson | Photos: Andreas von Gegerfelt AB
KNUT Restaurant in the heart of Stockholm is a tribute to owner Martin Sjölander’s birthplace – an eastern city on the shore of the gulf waters that stretch from Sweden to Finland, as well as to a very important man in his life – his late grandfather, Knut.
At just ten years old, Martin already knew he wanted to open his own restaurant. Since then, his journey to make his childhood dream a reality has been quite the story. He was born and raised in Timrå, a small city with a population of around 10,000, on the east coast of Västernorrland.
At the age of 14 he started working in restaurants: first as a dishwasher and in the cold section, before – through hard work and dedication to the craft – becoming a chef. Aged 19, he travelled the world for four years, visiting 30 countries, working in a variety of restaurant kitchens along the way – and as a private chef for the rich and famous.
He returned to Sweden, only to see his dream of opening his own restaurant pushed back, due to an accident. While he recovered, he earned a business degree and, in 2013, he finally opened the doors of KNUT Restaurant.
Martin designed the interior himself. The space has a rustic, cosy touch – a welcoming blend of ski lodge and city aesthetics. The dining menu combines specific produce of Norrland with inspiration from Martin’s travels. Nowadays, he doesn’t do much of the cooking himself, but his vision of quality, affordable cuisine is brought alive by a team of talented chefs. Meanwhile, KNUT also offers catering and private chef hire for home dinner parties.
In 2016, a second KNUT location opened in the city, and there are more exciting plans around the corner for this ambitious restaurateur. Over the next five years, Martin will launch a new, unfussy street food concept called STIGEN (meaning ‘THE PATH’) in ten Swedish cities, alongside branded online wellness merchandise.
All of this is to come. Elsewhere, the original KNUT Restaurant continues to charm. Here, guests can discover a sense of Norrland closer than they might imagine: in every sip and bite.
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