Frida Ronge

Frida Ronge is the daughter of a fishmonger from Gothenburg, Sweden. She is the culinary director of Tak and Unn restaurants in Stockholm, which serve a large proportion of seafood. Ronge is passionate about protecting the world’s oceans and advocates sustainability through her role as an MSC ambassador.

Portrait of chef Frida Ronge

Portrait of Chef Frida © Lennart Weibull

When and how did sustainability first become important to you?

It was around 2009 when I really started to think about why we import so much fish. This especially applies to Sushi. When I realised how and where it was caught it was an eye-opener for me on how little I, and probably my fellow Swedes, knew about it.

Sushi is your speciality. How has your approach changed?

The first time I prepared sushi was when I worked at Sälens Högfjällshotell in 2005. Then the sushi looked very different than it does today: the fish was sent vacuum-packed from Japan. I grew up in Gothenburg as a fisherman’s daughter and wondered why we didn’t use local fish in sushi. But I was young and didn't dare to ask. It was only when I became chef de cuisine at Råkultur in Stockholm, that I began experimenting with making sushi with fish from Nordic waters. We were the first in Sweden to do that. It became a really big hit!

Why is it important to inspire and encourage people to cook healthy and sustainable seafood?

Primarily, to protect fish stocks so that future generations can eat and experience seafood in the same way we do today. In addition, you feel great about eating fish and seafood. It’s tasty and healthy – I love it.

What made you decide to get involved with the MSC?

It is important that people become more aware of the provenance of the food we eat. I trust the global work the MSC does and that is why I feel it is necessary for me to collaborate with the NGO. Whatever I learn, I pass on.

What advice would you give to someone who is new to cooking seafood?

Try out new species you have not tried before and don't overcook it! A common mistake is to overdo fish, running the risk that it will end up tasting boring. Also remember to be careful on what the proper cooking temperature is for each different species.

How are your eating habits changing?

I will continue to eat less red meat and more vegetables, fish and seafood. I feel that it is best for my body and makes me more creative.

What advice would you give to your younger self (as a chef) around getting sustainable fish on the menu?

To thoroughly research the ingredients I would put on a menu. It is not only about quality and taste any more. Finding produce that is sustainably produced or caught wild is just as important today. I’d also tell my younger self to work with seasonal ingredients and to freeze, pickle, dry or ferment fish to prolong the season. In addition, I would give thought to using locally produced food from my own country and surrounding waters.

Can you explain your advice around generously salting fish? What does it add to the flavour?

Brining your fish gives it a better texture and an even saltiness which is not just on the outside of the meat. With the brine you also increase the durability of the fish.

Who are your heroes in the sustainability world?

My heroes are those who take responsibility for our planet, both professional chefs and members of the public. I admire people who understand locally sourced products and who are aware of the season when it comes to sustainable ingredients. They are the people who come up with inspiring, new dishes. We are in this together to make a difference. We can all be heroes.

The Blue Cookbook

The Blue Cookbook

10 amazing chefs from around the world help you cook their delicious, healthy and future-friendly recipes at home. With key species facts to help you make the right seafood choices.

Let's cook

 

Meet all the Ocean Ambassadors

From award-winning chefs to adventurers to photographers, the Ocean Ambassadors are united by a love of the oceans and the seafood they bring us. Meet these advocates of healthy, sustainable seas.

  • '{{item.Image.Title}}', {{item.Image.Artist}}, {{item.Image.Description}}