The salmon craze will not be ending in Thailand anytime soon, especial that for the premium Norwegian salmon. However, there's another Nordic fish rising the demand in the culinary scene, and that's the Fjord trout. A new sensation in seafood cuisine, the Fjord trout is loved for its distinct texture yet similitude to salmon. To learn more about Nordic seafood cuisine, Thailand Tatler talks to celebrity chef Oyvind Naesheim as he visited Bangkok to host a Trout Master Class to 30 chefs from highly regarded dining venues in the nation.
To start off, tell us about your beginnings as a chef.
My story as a chef started a long time ago in the kitchen sitting on the kitchen counter with my grandmother, watching her cooking. I've always wanted to become a chef. But my biggest breakthrough was in 2003 when I went to London. I had one backpack, no job, and nothing else. Three days later I started working for Nobu, and I ended up spending 12 years with them, with eight years in Asia. I am very passionate about using Norwegian ingredients but to create Japanese taste.
Why Japanese cuisine?
I find it amazing the way they treat the product, the freshness and the passion. Everything from the fisherman taking the fish out of the ocean to delivering it to consumers, you see that everything is treated extremely well. Also, the Japanese way of cooking is about enhancing each product.
Why are you hosting the Trout Master Class in Thailand? What kind of potential do you see here for this kind of culinary event?
Bangkok is currently like an explosion in the food scene. It has always been rich in food culture, but I think only more recently is Thailand really on the food map internationally. I think there is great potential here because people are quickly becoming more and more sophisticated. They understand more, and they have tried more. We are acquainted with the value of Norwegian fish and that's why I think this kind of event is ideal for this atmosphere.
Why is Norwegian seafood the best in the globe?
Because of the ocean. The temperature is very cold, and the enviornment is very clean. The cold water makes the fish grow slower and develop finer muscle fibers. We also have very strict regulations. Norway is the only country that can produce and export seafood with this quality.
Salmon versus trout. What are the differences between the two from a chef's point of view.
We are already very familiar with the salmon. People from all over the world have tried the Norwegian salmon—it is the best salmon in the world. Fjord trout is very similar to salmon but has leaner meat.
Lastly, what have you cooked for us today and why did you choose to make this dish?
Today I have done the Norwegian tradition of pickling the Fjord trout. However, instead of using Nordic spices, I have replaced then with Thai ones: fresh pepper, lemon grass, lime leaf and galangal. It smells like Thailand.
(More dining features: Harrods Opens The Vegetable Butchery In The UK)