Absolutely incredible! Our own Desirée Jaks has been named Chef of the Year 2023 tonight!
Desirée faced four challenges where she had to serve four different dishes, each on six plates. The first final challenge involved preparing a cold dish with lobster. Desirée created a starter with Lobster Claw, dill sauce, tomato essence, celery, and a fluffy lobster emulsion. The second task also required lobster, but this time, a warm dish was to be created. Desirée prepared confit lobster with buttery lobster sauce flavored with chili, spicy carrot cream, pumpkin, and citrus. The third task, known as “cook soup on a nail,” involved making a warm dish with Swedish ingredients for a maximum price of 300 SEK. Here, Desirée served grilled king oyster mushrooms, caramelized cream, autumn truffle, and mushroom broth.
The final task was to create an optional main course with reindeer saddle. The dish was to be warm and include beetroot, reindeer blood, and reindeer tongue. Desirée’s final creation consisted of juicy reindeer saddle, reindeer blood sauce, and reindeer tongue. Juniper-smoked and pickled beetroot, grilled skewer with reindeer tongue and mushrooms, along with a sauce with blackcurrant and flavored cabbage leaves.
Desirée showed remarkable resilience, impressing amidst tough competition and displaying exceptional leadership in the kitchen. She stood out as superior to the other competitors as early as the quarter-finals, securing her well-deserved place in the final. The quarter-finals consisted of two tasks where she first created a dish with bird eggs, algae, and shoreline plants, followed by a dish with mackerel and asparagus.
In a statement to Chef of the Year, Desirée said: “I strive to have an influential role in the industry’s development, where we can promote sustainability throughout the entire food chain and make the industry more attractive for new generations.”
Desirée is, of course, our creative leader here at Spesso, and beyond that, she’s also an important member of the National Culinary Team aiming for the 2024 Olympics. Previously, she was part of the Stockholm Culinary Team in 2016, winning the Olympics in Germany. Between 2017 and 2018, she was part of the Junior Culinary Team, competing in the 2018 World Cup and Nordic Young Chef 2018, which she also won.
A big and heartfelt congratulations to Desirée for her well-deserved victory from all of us at Spesso who have witnessed her journey! Wow!