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June 19, 2013

Swedish Culinary Summer



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By Jessica Mackin

The "Swedish Culinary Summer" is bringing talented chefs from Sweden to the Hamptons this season to participate in a variety of charity functions. A lineup of top Swedish chefs, food, beverages and consumer goods will be displayed.

Participating in 20 events, SCS is using the Hamptons as a launching platform to create a buzz about the country and its culinary scene. Fifteen renowned, award-winning Swedish chefs, some from Michelin-starred restaurants, are here to create a seduction and interest in the country and what it has to offer. The majority of the chefs are winners of the Swedish Chef of the Year Award, "Årets Kock."

"Food is the universal ambassador," says Andrew Reice who is the co-founder and Hamptons project director of Swedish Culinary Summer. The SCS is "using a multifaceted approach to create interest in Sweden."

Originally from Greenwich Village in New York City, Reice says Sweden is "as close to utopia as you can get."

Swedish cuisine has grown over the past 20 years. Zagat recently placed Swedish restaurants in the number two and number three positions in the top 10 restaurants in the world. In October of 2012, the Swedish National Team swept the Culinary Olympics, in all major categories. In 2011, a Swedish chef won second place in Bocuse d'Or. In recognition of its world standing, Bocuse d'Or Europe will be held in Stockolm in 2014. The number of Michelin-starred restaurants has increased and several Swedish chefs have opened restaurants outside the country.

The lineup for this summers events is both ambitious and impressive. So far they have been involved in "Top Secret," an event for the Long Island Merlot Alliance, the "Much Ado About Madoo" benefit for the Madoo Conservancy, and "Midsummer Night Drinks" benefit for GOD's Love We Deliver.

This summer you can find SCS chefs at many other Hamptons parties, like the "Get Wild! Summer Gala" for the Evelyn Alexander Wildlife Rescue Center on Saturday at the home of Ellen and Chuck Scarborough, which will highlight Swedish Chef Jonas Dahlbom.

On June 29, they will join the "Benefit For The Bays" to benefit Peconic Baykeeper and Waterkeeper Alliance, which will be held aboard a luxury yacht. On July 6, SCS joins Guild Hall's "Season Spectacular" which features a performance by Broadway legend Audra McDonald. You can find them at the opening of "ArtHampton" which takes place on July 11.

The "Chefs & Champagne" annual event to benefit the James Beard Foundation will be held on July 20 and honors Andrew Zimmern; SCS will be there. The "Hamptons Happening" Benefit for the Samuel Waxman Cancer Research Foundation is on the list for July 27, the event features the restaurants of Chef Todd English, along with additional renowned chefs including those of SCS.

The "Great Chef's Dinner" at the Hayground School to benefit the Jeff Salaway Scholarship Fund on July 28 will feature eight chefs from Sweden's Junior National Culinary Olympics team. "Authors Night" at East Hampton Library on August 10 will feature delicacies by Chef Tommy Myllymäki, 2011 Bocuse d'Or silver medalist. Find them at the RxArt's Party 2013 on August 11. RxArt transforms pediatric hospital facilities into comforting and engaging spaces through contemporary art. The "Pink Apron Party" Celebrity Chef Event on August 17 for the Ellen Hermanson Foundation features all female chefs, including Emelie Johansson, Sweden's Regional Cook-off Youth winner. Last but not least, SCS will be at Harvest East End to benefit East End Hospice on August 24.

Part of the Swedish lifestyle means not using bragging rights, which is probably why you may not have heard as much as you should have about the spectacular culinary scene. Swedes are "brought up being extremely humble," said participating Chef Karl Ljung, who won the Swedish Chef of the Year award in 1999 and was responsible for the Nobel Dinner for four years. He is the CEO of Stureplansgruppen Restaurant Group with 19 venues in Stockholm.

SCS is also donating an array of auction items to these events. Many travel packages will be auctioned off. These packages include adventure activities, dinners, cultural activities, and are always for two couples. There will also be Swedish products auctioned such as knives, cheese, and items from The Lexington Clothing Co.

For more info visit www.swedishculinarysummer.com.

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