Our loss is Honolulu’s gain. Johan Svensson, who until recently was executive chef at Aquavit, has moved to Hawaii.
If you’re wondering what I’m talking about because you thought celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson was executive chef of Aquavit, Samuelsson is chef-owner of Aquavit and hasn’t been executive chef there for years. He does spend a fair amount of time there, though; Nation’s Restaurant News’ offices are across the street, so I meet people there for drinks with some frequency, and Samuelsson often comes out to say hello.
But of course he can’t be there all the time. Sometimes he’s busy cooking state dinners at the White House, or otherwise occupied as a celebrity. It happens.
Johan was the opening executive chef of Riingo, which is under the same ownership as Aquavit, and he became Aquavit’s executive chef after Nils Noren left that position to work at the French Culinary Institute.
But he is moving to sunny, sunny Honolulu to work for the BLT Steak scheduled to open on Waikiki at the new Trump International Hotel & Tower there.
Details (like exactly what his job is there) haven’t been confirmed, but I’ll write up a news item on that for NRN once they have been.
Meanwhile, back in New York, Marcus Jernmark, who started working at Aquavit in August as a sous-chef, is running the kitchen for the time being.
This particular Marcus is no slouch, either, having recently worked at the residence of Sweden’s consul-general in New York, but. management still seems to be looking for someone to fill the position permanently.
At any rate, congratulations all-around.