MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — If the first thing you think of when you hear “Swedish chef” is the Muppets character, then maybe you need to start thinking of Paul Berglund.
He has a picture of his felt counterpart in the kitchen of The Bachelor Farmer, the red-hot North Loop Minneapolis restaurant.READ MORE: 2021 Is Minnesota's Deadliest Boating Season In 16 Years, Says DNR
“A liver pate is one of my favorite things,” Berglund said.
As The Bachelor Farmer opened, he couldn’t stop thinking about a Time-Life Cookbook he had as a kid called “The Foods of Scandinavia.”
“One of the chapters … was called ‘Sweden’s Groaning Board.’ So the chapter page was there and then across from it was a picture of a huge smorgasbord,” Berglund said.
The board was so heavy, the table was groaning. It’s a very old idea, but executed in a new, modern way.
“What we really have done is found inspiration in the northern region that we’re in,” he said.
Berglund was just named a finalist in the Best Chef Midwest category of the James Beard Award. It’s a great honor, which he partially credits to the national interest in Nordic food.READ MORE: Art Tribute To Bob Dylan Goes Up Outside Hibbing High School
“I think that that was a great sort of happenstance. You know, you can’t deny it; it was a really fortuitous timing,” he said.
Eric Dayton and his brother Andrew, the sons of Governor Mark Dayton, co-own the restaurant.
“I think maybe [the Dayton family connection] brought some early attention to the restaurant. But … it doesn’t make the food taste better,” Dayton said.
With nearly three years of non-stop success, there’s no doubt the restaurant is moving forward while getting better, and redefining the clean flavors of today’s Nordic cooking.
And it’s thanks to a real Swedish Chef.
“We’ve changed. Our restaurant has changed,” Berglund said.MORE NEWS: Nathan Hase Killed In Goodhue County Crash
The Bachelor Farmer can be a tough weekend reservation to get. But every Sunday starting at 10 a.m., they serve a first-come, first-served brunch.