Earlier this year, the Swedish Chef Association named Brutalisten, a restaurant known for crafting each course out of a single ingredient, as the 8th Best restaurant in Sweden–the first restaurant to achieve this honor without a Michelin star. Brutalisen has attracted the attention of stars such as Lily Collins, Veronica Di Maggio, and Oscar Zia. Now, despite opening just over a year ago in May 2022, the restaurant has a new head chef. Coen Dieleman, who previously worked at Copenhagen's Geranium, will be taking on the esteemed role.
Belgian-German artist Carsten Höller dreamed Brutalisten according to his Brutalist Kitchen Manifesto that is inspired by the characteristics of Brutalist architecture. Dieleman will be blending his own unique style with that of Brutalisten.Odalisque went to test out the food and then got to ask Dieleman some questions. We found some of the dishes a little too bland, but what truly delighted us was the chlorophyll ice cream. We'd happily visit the restaurant again just for its delectable dessert.
Can you start off by telling me a bit about your cooking background?
I started to have interest in cooking as a career when I was working as a dishwasher, as a holiday job during summer when I was 14. That was my first experience in a kitchen and loved the energy and intensity of it. From there on I started also helping in the kitchen and when I turned 16 I started my chef education and gave up dishwashing!
How would you describe your cheffing style?
It is hard for me to describe my cheffing style as I am still discovering and learning so much everyday about cooking and ingredients. My main focus is to cook with products that are produced with the greatest care and respect.
What do you hope to bring to Brutalisten?
A new approach to the Brutalist kitchen manifesto. I want to bring a more detailed presentation to show case the produce and our approach to treating the produce in their purest form. I also am excited to find new ways to get the best flavour out of the product, hopefully inspiring others to cook in the same way.
What do you think of Höller's Brutalist Kitchen Manifesto’s rule that all dishes must be crafted out of a single ingredient?
As a chef I like to think about it more as a challenge than as a rule. It can be very challenging to cook this way because you have to find the best produce possible and if you find the best produce, cooking in the Brutalist way allows you to show to quality of the produce in its purest form. Fresh, cooked just right and with the best flavour. I also believe it gives more credit to the suppliers who put a lot of effort, care and respect in supplying the best produce. As a guest you wouldn’t think about that when you are eating but they are the start of a great meal.
In your career as a chef, what was your most formative memory or moment in your career that most impacted how you work today?
There are many moments in my professional career which have shaped me, they all impact you in different ways, but I think the most important one was when I did a one week stage at three Michelin starred restaurant “De Librije”. This was also my first three Michelin starred restaurant I ate at a year before and to be in a kitchen which was at the highest level was a different feeling. From the organisation, the products, the energy, the passion of the people, the wow moments the guest were having. It just hit different and I wanted to feel that. So from there I decided I wanted to see that in a different place and I ended up at Geranium.
What do you think is the main difference between working as a Chef in Copenhagen vs Stockholm?
I am not sure I can answer this yet! Ask me again in 6 months…
If you could serve food to any guest/ celebrity, who would you pick and why?
There are many guests I would like to cook for but it is always exciting when there is legends from our industry. People you look up to and are your idols from a young age. I don’t really have anyone in particular.