Anton Husa, chef at Upper House Dining in Gothenburg, Sweden won the Scandinavia and Baltics regional final with his signature dish of dish of leek-coated cod with caramelised celeriac.
As the young chef prepares to go head to head with 20 other finalists at the S.Pellegrino Grand Finale in May 2018 we caught up with him to find out more. From his hopes and aspirations to how he’s working with mentor Henri Alén to put those finishing touches to his dish.
Anton Husa during the local competition
1. Please describe your signature dish, and explain why you choose this dish over any other?
It’s a variation of cod, onions and leek, celeriac and dill. In my opinion a very Nordic dish, both flavor wise and in the selection of ingredients.
When I came up with this dish I thought of stuff that I like to eat myself, and celeriac and onions was an obvious choice. I thought that cod would also go well with these flavors because of its pretty discreet flavor and its flexibility to work with.
A main target with my dish was that nothing should go to waste. For example, I make a purée from the waste from the caramelized circular shaped celeriac and the waste from the leek and “cod skin” is the main ingredient in the sauce. Over all it’s a dish that I love to eat and cook, and I think it will show in the finals.
Anton Husa signature dish
2. What made you become a chef?
Food has always been a big part during my upbringing, so it was an obvious choice when it came to choose high school that I wanted to become a chef.
3. Who has influenced you in your career?
My dad from the beginning, but I think mainly all my coworkers at my current job and previous jobs at different restaurants have inspired me.
4. Where do you see yourself in 5/10 years’ time?
Continuing working as a chef, maybe at my own restaurant. Also, still challenging myself by competing in different chef competitions.
5. How are you/will you collaborate with your mentor, Henri Alen, in order to perfect your dish for the Grand Finale?
First of all, discuss how we are going to schedule the training and what we think I should do different from the semifinals. Then it’s just training and briefing after each training on what I should do different until next time.
The winner Anton Husa chilling out after the competition
6. What is the most exciting/challenging element of the S.Pellegrino Young Chef competition for you?
The most challenging part must be to get everything ready and packed for the trip to Milano. The most exciting part is that I’m going to represent my region in a world final together with 20 other young talented chefs. I also think I will learn a lot from the whole experience.
7. Why do you think you can win the S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2018 title?
Because I’m confident in my dish and in my cooking. I’m going to spend a lot of time training and I’m committed to my task in representing my region.
8. If you weren’t a chef what would you be?
I’m a pretty esthetic person and I like to work with creative things, so probably an architect or something like that.
9. What’s your most memorable food experience?
Dinner with my girlfriend at Geranium in Copenhagen.
10. What do you like to do in your free time?
Being with my girlfriend, friends and family is very important to me. And I also like to work out at my spare time.
Geranium's Rasmus Kofoed has decided to stop serving meat at the restaurant currently ranked number two on the World's 50 Best Restaurants list. But the Danish chef isn't yet willing to go purely plant-based.