GUIDE / STOCKHOLM

”We are ’big’ enough to have world-class restaurants and cultural institutions — but small enough to get close to nature”

TOMMY MYLLYMÄKI
On 21K-weekend runs and the best of Nordic food
March 10, 2022

The Swedish chef, restauranteur, and cookbook author is, most recently, the new president of Bocuse d’Or Sweden. He runs AIRA, a 1 Michelin Star restaurant located in the royal park of Djurgården in Stockholm. 

— The restaurant’s proximity to the water and connection to nature is a key element to the experience, which is also highlighted by the unique architecture of the building. The gastronomic experience constantly evolves with the seasons and is focused on Nordic main ingredients, techniques, and spices from across the globe, he says.

For someone who hasn’t been to Stockholm, how’d you describe it?

— As a small/big city with all the advantages and disadvantages that brings. We are ’big’ enough to have some world-class restaurants as well as art and cultural institutions — however small enough to walk or run through to get close to nature. 

My favourite thing that makes me proud of Stockholm: 

— The City itself is so beautiful; Djurgården, where Aira is situated, is a gem. So close to the city centre but in certain places, it almost feels like you are in the countryside — it’s such a nice place to have a run or walk.

My favourite weekend routine: 

— I always go on a long-distance run at the weekend, usually around 21K. I like to finish the run by buying some bread to take home and having a croissant. I mainly go to Valhallabageriet to enjoy coffee and a croissant with cheese and marmalade post-run. 

My favourite cultural spot:

The Royal Opera.

My favourite place for dining out:

— I like to dine out at restaurants Sturehof, Frantzen, and Surfers

My favourite place for a creative or business meeting:

— I do take all my meetings at Aira or Sturehof. I like them both!

My favourite breakfast place:

— You cannot go wrong with a breakfast at Riche, now back on post-pandemic.

My favourite excursion:

— I like to take the boat to Sandhamn and enjoy a lengthy lunch at one of the restaurants. 

My favourite local entrepreneur or creative I want to promote:

A.W.Bauer & Co, Saman Amel, and my wife Malin’s scented candle brand Quod.

My favourite hotel for a staycation:

Ett Hem. Cozy atmosphere, great service, beautiful and relaxed interior, and great kitchen with superb food — it’s like staying a weekend ”at home”.

My favourite route for a run or walk: 

— Around Djurgården-Norrmälarstrand-Västerbron-Årstaviken and back to Strandvägen.

My favourite place for fashion:

— A.W.Bauer & Co. The professionalism and personal warmth from the tailor Frederik at Bauer is exceptional. If you have a clear vision of what you want or if you want Frederik to create something special for you. There is never a problem. High service grade, professional, and humble. And the best thing of it all — it is sustainable. 

My favourite space for great design: 

— To buy design or furniture, I like to go to Nordiska Galleriet. Also, I know it’s biased but the bar at AIRA is one of my favourite spaces, and shortly, it will be improved with a new lounge chair I have designed myself that is produced in Sweden. 

My favourite example of tech innovation in Stockholm: 

Spotify. Probably an obvious choice but music is a huge part of what inspires me. I love creating playlists for the restaurant and Spotify has a huge selection of music to discover.

My favourite local media:

Icon and Filter.

My favourite thing at home: 

— The small spatula and cast iron pan from my brand Nouie, my Technics SL 1200 Turntable, and The Spanish chair by Mogensen.

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