Author(s): Fredrik Berselius
The debut cookbook from the internationally acclaimed Swedish chef of the two Michelin-starred Brooklyn restaurant Aska
Aska is the first book from chef Fredrik Berselius, who was awarded two Michelin stars within six months of opening his restaurant in 2016. This chef monograph takes the reader on his journey to New York City from Sweden, finding a 1860s Brooklyn warehouse, and conceiving of every aspect of his restaurant, far beyond the food. At Aska, Berselius has created an intimate dining experience with a seasonally-driven ambitious tasting menu. This book celebrates his Nordic-inspired dishes with 40 recipes, evocative personal writing, and stunning photography.
"One of the rewards of working as a restaurant critic for a few years is getting to see chefs growing into their ambitions. On my watch, few have done this as dramatically and successfully as Aska’s chef, Frederik Berselius. Aska, which opened beneath the ribs of the Williamsburg Bridge in July, is his third restaurant. And with each fresh incarnation, his cooking has taken a leap forward... I loved the chanterelles and their broth that surrounded the lichen and the swoosh of cream, cooked down to a caramelized sweetness, that was hiding beneath... Mr. Berselius is the rare chef who thinks like an artist and gets away with it... Part of the program at Aska asks us to look again at nature, and to try ingredients that aren’t sold in any supermarket. Mr. Berselius does impressive things with more ordinary materials, though, like the slabs of scallop and their dark-coral roe with elderflower-scented brown butter spooned over the top, or a simple and remarkably good stick of roasted king crab leg with tiny potatoes, cooked almost al dente... an amazing sorbet of raw milk served with little strawberries preserved during the summer, along with some fermented juice on its way to becoming wine. This was followed by birch ice cream under white slices of raw pine mushrooms and woodruff leaves, an odd, herbaceous and unexpectedly stirring combination. In my tour of duty, I’ve eaten a number of dishes that were supposed to represent a walk in the woods, but none came as close to capturing the forest’s aromas as this one."
--Pete Wells, New York Times (3 stars)
Fredrik Berselius is chef/owner of Aska. Born in Stockholm, he moved to New York City in 2000 and in 2012 launched the pop-up Frej, which later became Aska (Swedish for 'ashes'). Aska's second iteration opened in 2016.