Prepare yourself for your latest culinary obsession, as there’s a new cooking competition coming to Channel 4 on Tuesday, January 21st.
Crazy Delicious sees 18 chefs and home cooks compete in some of the most mind-blowing, experimental challenges food TV has ever seen. And, of course, there has to be a judging panel who are equally impressive in their approach to cuisine. The three world-renowned ‘Food Gods’ presiding over the competition are Heston Blumenthal, Carla Hall and Niklas Ekstedt.
The latter of the three might sound unfamiliar to those who aren’t up to scratch with their international foodie knowledge, but we’ve got the lowdown on Niklas.
Here’s everything you need to know about the celebrated Swedish chef.
Who is Niklas Ekstedt?
Niklas Ekstedt is a 41-year-old chef and restaurant owner. He was born on November 28th, 1978 in Järpen, Sweden.
After attending one of Sweden’s gastronomic high schools in Racklöfska, it wasn’t long before Niklas established his name in the culinary industry. He started his first restaurant aged just 21 after all!
His first restaurant was eponymously named ‘Niklas’ and was based in Helsingborg.
After the success of Niklas, it didn’t take long before the chef expanded his restaurant empire. He opened his second restaurant in 2003, called ‘Niklas i Viken’. Next, Niklas took over Stockholm’s Restaurant 1900. Finally, he opened ‘Ekstedt’ in 2011, the concept restaurant for which Niklas is best-known.
At ‘Ekstedt’, Niklas cooks exclusively over fire, a practice which put his name on the culinary map and became quickly popularised.
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Niklas on Crazy Delicious
You might be wondering: ‘What is a celebrated Swedish chef doing judging on a Channel 4 cooking competition?’ But this is not far from what Niklas is also used to doing.
Besides starting all of his restaurants in Sweden, Niklas also had a cooking show on the Swedish national TV channel. His show was called ‘Mat’, meaning food in Swedish.
Niklas also once starred as the guest chef in MasterChef season 11 back in 2015.
Niklas said in an interview with Channel 4:
I loved being part of Crazy Delicious, it’s such a spectacular production. I’ve been so impressed by the dishes we’ve seen and tasted, particularly with how the cooks were able to infuse flavours and techniques from a variety of cuisines. I didn’t really expect that from British cooking.
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Follow Niklas on Instagram
Like any good foodie, Niklas has quite the Instagram presence and his feed is filled with mouth-watering pictures of the dishes he – and others – creates.
And of course Niklas has some of the best chefs following him too, from David Chang to Rene Redzepi; his culinary reputation is definitely up there with the best!
Join Niklas’ 67,000-strong following on Instagram @niklasekstedt.
WATCH CRAZY DELICIOUS TUESDAYS AT 8 PM ON CHANNEL 4 AND NETFLIX