Food Frida Johansson food – “I have the dream job I never dreamt of” SACC-PHILADELPHIA 18 Frida Johansson “I always do things in 110 and I am a true workaholic. If I have decided to do something, I want to do it thoroughly no matter how long it will take.” As the private chef to the ambassador, Frida is responsible for catering all of the official events at the ambassador’s residence in Washington, D.C. These can be anything from breakfast to cocktails or dinners, and serve either two or 500 guests per event. On average, Frida is making food for approximately 4000 – 5000 guests each year, which among others have included Vice President Biden, King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia, and Prince Daniel. Frida’s very first event as a 23-year old newly appointed chef at the residence, was a barbeque with the previous Swedish Minister for Foreign Affairs, Carl Bildt. Even if Frida today is one of Sweden’s greatest chefs, it was not a clear dream job for her when she was younger. Cooking has always been important in her family and she speaks fondly of her mother’s passion for making good food, while she shows us her great grandmother’s cookbook that has given her a lot of inspiration. Something she did know though, was that she wanted to work with her hands, and during her high school studies at Ester Mosesson’s Culinary School in Gothenburg, she decided she wanted to become a chef. At the young age of 28, Frida Johansson, the private chef to the Ambassador of Sweden to the United States, Björn Lyrvall, has already accomplished more than what some people do during a lifetime. We met her a cold day in February to talk about food, what it is like working in the United States, and how she ended up where she is today. After being greeted by the butler, we meet Frida who has just come out from a meeting about the upcoming week’s release of the Swedish Embassy’s public diplomacy theme program for 2015, Earth & Space. The program is promoting mutual Swedish – American interests in the areas of politics, culture, trade and research to a large and international audience, and Frida is responsible for the catering at the opening exhibition. While we are talking and enjoying her delicious cinnamon buns (it’s afternoon and fika time, after all!), Frida is preparing a sea buckthorn dessert for the evening’s dinner. We barely have time to blink before the next side dish, a parsnip mousse, has been mixed together. According to Frida, it is one of the reasons to why she has succeeded so well in her career: Frida is preparing parsnip mousse. Her career started in high school when she received a scholarship that gave her the opportunity to work as a trainee in Antwerp, Belgium, for six months. She enjoyed working in an international setting, and a couple of months later, she moved to no less than Italy, Austria and eventually New Zealand, where she worked at multiple prestigious restaurants.