Chef Robin Halling

Nov 15, 2021 | Chef Stories

 Name : Robin Halling

Age : 33

What is your current role :

Freelance Chef / Restaurant Consultant

Where are you from? Sweden

Awards and Accolades

2 gold and 1 silver medal in the Swedish BBQ championship Also a link to the book we released last early this year for people in need in Belize

Social Media and Web Links :

What is your earliest memory of cooking? What did you cook and for who?

I remembered when I was around five or six and my parents had been eating snails a couple of nights before, and it was a rainy day walking home from my neighbours, I must have picked around 50 of those regular garden snails. I brought them all home and boiled them all and tried to give them to my parents, I don’t think I need to say this but they did not end up eating them, but they did buy them from me for 10 cents a snail.

Have you always been a chef? Or did have a change of direction in your career?

Since culinary school I’ve always worked in the industry. In the beginning it was mostly high end restaurants, both with Michelin stars and some without, then a lot of travelling all over the place. I also owned and managed a bar for a while in Spain. For the last couple of years it’s been mostly private, chalets, yachts, private households, and events. At the moment I’m more leaning toward sustainability, foraging and superfoods, trying to combine all of that with the fine dining and new nordic way of cooking, to hopefully open up something of my own again. In the meantime I also do a lot of consulting for restaurants and some private gigs.

If you could cook with ingredients from any country, where would it be and why?

I’ve travelled and worked all over the world and the ingredients of Mexico and Peru is at the very top of the world, I would love to dig deeper at those, Then again the variation of wild foods in the North, as well as seafood and game is right where I want to be now. Preserving and fermentation has always been in our country because of short summers, and at the moment it’s being used in quite a new approach.

Robin Halling Food 2 High End Chefs Private Chef Network
Robin Halling Food 2 High End Chefs Private Chef Network
Robin Halling Food 3 High End Chefs Private Chef Network

 If you could invite any 2 people for dinner, who would it be and what would you talk about?

I think I would invite Anthony Bourdain. He seemed like such rockstar and I think he would be great company, talk about his travels and the old school kitchen. That legend has some stories. I would also invite Virgilio Martínez and try to convince him to hire me at Central in Lima.

What was the last culinary course / qualification you took and what would you choose next?

I dont really take courses but I’m always learning by reading or doing my own research. Lately it’s been a lot about edible wild plants and fermenting. I’m also doing a bit of reading about management and leadership,

What is the most funny/ frustrating thing that has happened to you whilst cooking for someone?

There are probably plenty of stories but one in particular comes to mind. It was a hectic Saturday night in a 2 michelin star restaurant and I was on the meat section that night, pushing 80+ guest mostly on a tasting menu. But for some reason the ones that weren’t having meat a la carte,was a table of ten and we had wagyu on the menu. They all ordered 200g each so that 2kg of wagyu you dont want to **** up with. Anyway all pieces were cooked beautifully and the owner comes in from nowhere with his dog in the kitchen and I turn around to do something on the stove. When I turn around,  his dog is feasting on one of my cuts and the owners just said it was over that’s why he gave it to the dog. Believe me that piece was not over! A little frustrated to say the least!

How much of your cooking is “finger tips” and instinct rather than following the recipe?

I would say most of it is, I rarely have recipes unless it’s pastry. I believe in learning about techniques instead and flavor memory. Obviously it’s always good to have a gameplay and a type of recipe, but it will always change. Onions might be sweeter, chillis not as hot and milk tastes different in different countries. If you have a general idea of how it should be done you can get there anyway. Well if it’s the first time ever doing something maybe use a recipe, at least until you master that something.

What does your typical day with a client involve?

Depends on the client, but I try to always get 15min of his time to go through the day, with times, guest, menus, etc and plan my day from that.

How do you spend your time off? What do you enjoy doing?

If I’m out travelling I do enjoy some local sights, eating a nice dinner out, and a cold beer on the beach normally does it for me.

What advice would you give to a young person entering the industry today?

Keep an open mind. Nothing is as it seems on television or what your teachers tells you. It can be the worst experience and also the best. It’s all up to you, you are your own company, you are the product. What you put in you can take out. Nothing is free. Always keep pushing

What inspired you choose the food and drink / chef industry?

I wasn’t doing much good in school, always skipping classes and hanging in the skatepark and getting into trouble. My teacher then sent me on a 1 month trip to his old restaurant in London. That trip would change anyone, it’s like joining the military. Knives were flying all over the place, people were getting thrown out on the streets and beaten up in the walk in. The list is long. But it was also an amazing experience, the food and the atmosphere was great.

Do you have a favourite cooking or chef quote to share?

“Our food should be our medicine and our medicine should be our food” — Hippocrates
We ask questions suggested by the wonderful community of Chefs and Food / Drink Professionals in the High End Chefs private group on Facebook. The purpose and mission behind ‘Chef Stories’  is to inspire and encourage other Chefs and those with a passion for culinary, to continue confidently into the industry as Private Chefs, Yacht Chefs, Chalet Chef, Restaurant Chefs / Chef’s Table, Catering Businesses and Cooking Schools!

The list isn’t exhaustive… but we’re sure you get the picture! 

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