Kokaihop Lounge, Passion för Mat 2012

Written by on February 28th, 2012 // Filed under Culīnaria, Sweden

Cheryl Marie Cordeiro with Anders Jacobsson of Mat.se and Kokaihop.se, the lounge at Passion för Mat 2012.

In as much fun and excitement any trade fair entails, there comes a time in the hours spent when you’d rather find yourself away from the masses, gathered to your own, if even for just a moment.

This year at Passion för Mat 2012, that place would be the Kokaihop Lounge at Hotel 11 that is just across the street from Erikbergshallen where the main fair is ongoing.

Set in a different premise altogether, this private lounge area is a relief of quiet and serenity from the humid and crowded indoors of Erikbergshallen, especially at mid-day.

Wines for the drinking.

There is more to the dining and culinary experience than eating or cooking. The concept of the Kokaihop Lounge comes from a team of young and creative food enthusiastic Swedes who are also behind the websites Kokaihop.se and Mat.se.

The websites were launched in 2007 by Mikael Andersson and Kimmo Björnsson, two individuals who have had much experience working on Internet projects and who had a flair for good food. They envisioned an on-line meeting place for the collecting and sharing of Swedish recipes that was easily accessible to users and likewise food enthusiasts. They wanted to bring that dining experience beyond the dining tables at home, reaching a larger audience. And they have indeed succeeded thus far, with the website having about 340,000 members.

Internet visionaries exchanging ideas about a virtual wine cellar.

Tête II by Torsten Jurell, sculpture from 1994-95.

Wine tasting with complementary meats and cheeses are the order of the day at the lounge to a soft backdrop of jazz music in surround-sound. In keeping however with the theme of the food fair which is to educate the public in general about all sorts of food, mini-seminars were held by Kokaihop in the lounge over the days of the fair. The seminars covered culinary topics located at the more ‘sophisticated’ end of the knowledge spectrum, touching upon the use of fresh herbs to enhance any dining experience, to how you might choose complementing wines to your food, to olive tasting sessions and not in the least, how to best photograph food.

Meeting author Michael Krantz

And I was standing at a table, browsing all sorts of culinary books, my attention slowly fixating on these particular pages of the cocktail book Bara Drinkbar by Michael Krantz, my eyes poring over photos by Håkan Aspnäs, when a guy approached me and asked, “Thirsty?”


A page from “Bara Drinkbar” by Michael Krantz with photos by Håkan Aspnäs.

I looked up to meet a pair of piercingly clear blue eyes that were smiling, obviously amused. And when I couldn’t fathom a quick enough response to his double entendre question, he continued with a nod in the direction of the book I was holding, “It’s mine!”

Two seconds too late, I immediately apologized for unsolicited borrowing his book on the unmanned table, closing its pages and returning the book to his hands when he said, “I’m Michael Krantz, I’m the author! Pleased to meet you!”

Cheryl Marie Cordeiro with Michael Krantz, culinary author whose website is BentoBoy

Bara Drinkbar is Michael’s second book to be released in 2011. His first entitled Mat under bar himmel was published in April 2011, where he had appeared on Sweden’s TV4 channel on the morning news, Nyhetsmorgon to speak about his book that gives pick-nick food recipes. Whether rain or shine, the purpose of the book was to inspire good eating, creative eating at any place, under most any weather conditions. This would be the authentic and uncomplicated means to food outside of home that is not storebought and unimaginatively pre-fabricated.

Michael Krantz, book signing, Passion för Mat 2012 at The Lounge.

I asked him his inspiration behind the two books and the answer laid in the novel ways in which one could approach specific types of food with a genre of its own, such as picnic food. With picnic food or food on the go, the pre-conceived notion was that it’s a hassle to make from scratch and an effort unrewarded when you’ll need to consume it hours after the transporting of it has turned the contents into a state of mush in a bag.

His parting thought – size does indeed matter- when it comes to cocktail drinks, of course!

It’s a hair’s breath between a conscious feel good that you can benefit from when having a drink in hand and complete oblivion when you drink yourself silly unconscious and can’t remember anything of yesterday’s evening’s activities.

Indeed, he would be right in that.

Ambience at The Lounge at Hotel 11

With the exception of the small swelling of the crowd duing its mini-seminars running over the days of the food fair, you could still eventually find your own place to sit down and relax some at Kokaihop’s Lounge.

Herb talk.

Chilled wines.

Some quiet.

Highlights to this food fair might vary from year to year and if there was a concept I would keep from 2012, it would be Kokaihop’s Lounge. The creativity, coupled with the quiet and the background jazz music… this place provides a sanctum in the midst of the culinary heat of the fair.

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