Women Of The Food Industry – Frida Ronge, Culinary Director
Frida Ronge is coming to Food On The Edge 2019 to talk to us about Japanese food made with Nordic ingredients.
Frida Ronge is the daughter of a fishmonger from Gotheburg. Today she is the culinary director at Tak a high end restaurant which serves a mix of Japanese food with Nordic Flair in Stockholm.
One thing that Frida Ronge is extremely passionate about is sustainability. It is at the heart of everything she does and she is further exploring what it can mean through her role as an MSC Ambassador.
I’d like to think that given the level of love there is for seafood and fresh fish in Ireland, at the moment, that her talk will be rammed. Make sure it’s on your agenda if you go to FOTE!
I’m talking to women the food industry. What do you love about it?
I have always been creative and I love to work with my hands. Flavours are fascinating to me. I find although it can be stressful, the food industy is never boring. I love it because there are always new things to learn and understand.
How does your career fulfill you?
I meet so many interesting people every day. I have moved on from being a head chef to Culinary Director and this means working more with concepts rathen than just the food. I enjoy working on the business part of the restaurant, I like that my work varies every day and that I’m constantly learning. There are a lot of opportunities in this business
What are your professional ambitions? What’s next for Frida Ronge?
I love being in nature and I want to go on retreat trips by mysel. Maybe yoga,surf or meditation. Im working on concepts with groups beeing outdoors, cooking outdoor, cooking classes, focus on fermentation and making nice sushi. I want to explain the process behind the ingredients and yoga.
I’m also very inspired by sustainability for our oceans and working closely with Marine Stewardship Council for Sweden, and helping people buy and eat sustainable seafood through new recipes, TV and etc. I hope this role will continue for me globally.
In your opinions, what challenges women face in the food industry?
If you work as a chef in fine dining restaurants, the schedule can be a real hassle. It’s hard to have a routine or make plans for you private life. I mean, it’s the same for men, but if you want to build family, I think it’s harder for women.
In Sweden all kitchen really want to have women working there, I guess one solution is to find a good schedule that fits the specific person.
Tell us of one woman in the food industry who consistently inspire you and why?
Chef Clare Smyth, she feels so honest about everything. I’ve actually not eaten her food yet but I follow her and I like what she’s doing and her persoanllity. I met her in Sweden a couple of years ago and she was lovely.
What do you think can be done to help raise the profile and visibility of women in the food industry?
One thing is to include women more in guest chefs dinners, collaboration dinners and etc. You still see it’s a lot of networking with only men. I dont mean that the right thing is that women should do the same networking to get closer and exclude men. But why can’t it be mixed?
What was the proudest moment of your career so far?
I dont think I can choose a specific moment. But right now I’m very happy that I’ve been a big part of the success of one of Stockholm’s biggest restaurant. Also, I’m very proud to be writing a new cookbook at the moment.
I’m happy and proud that I’m still fighting to get better at what I’0m doing and that I realised that I need to plan time for training but also time with friends to be happy. If I’m happy and feel good, I’m creative and motivated to work and achieve new goals.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Give yourself more credit, be less anxious and learn to understand your needs.
What are the top skills required to do your job and why?
I never give up until I hit the goal, I’m focused and loyal because I care and I feel that I want to deliver what is expected both by our guests and the management. You also need to be good with flavours and plating.
What is your favourite breakfast?
A green smoothie, with ginger, spirulina, kale, oatmilk, banana and blueberries. I like to work out in the morning so I dont like to be too full.