Ellen Dixdotter and Jacob Holst is two out of four behind the restaurant Matateljén in Gamla Enskede, outside of Stockholm. This is the story of food dreams coming true. Photo: Hans Ericksson/Agent Molly

Tell us about Matateljén.

– Matateljén is a small restaurant with a lot of heart and warmth. We choose to build the kitchen in a way that the guests would be able sit down around the chef ’s stove, both to maximize space, and create a family atmosphere.

How was the process from dream to reality?

– It started with a discussion at home at the dinner table with our good friends Anna and Henrik who run Svartsjö Krog. We all live in Gamle Enskede and felt that we lacked a cozy local pub that puts food and wine in focus and at the same time is a cozy space. Afterwards we couldn’t really let go of that thought and everyone we talked to from the area agreed with us. That’s why it went so quick. We checked out a few places before we found the old VVS space. It was really run down and as far away from a useable restaurant space as it could be, but we saw the potential. And because Jacob is an architect we started drawing and tearing down stuff so we could build. We saved a lot of the old interior and mixed in modern kitchen appliances.

3 simple ways to create a nice dinner vibe?

– Good wine and good food! Sharing a lot of small plates with everyone around the table, it ́s always cozier to eat together. And not to forget the feeling created by lots of candles, music and nice crockery.

The Best music to make food to?

– At the restaurant we need to keep up appearances but Henke always preps the kitchen to death me- tal, hip hop and a finnish band named Vasa Flora & Fauna. At home we listen to a mix of Jacob’s unknown youtube bands and my commercial pop and classic Rock.

Your favorites on the menu?

– Matateljéns lunches are always top notch. The dinner menu changes often but right now a few fa- vorites are the tartare with colatura & ramson caper, chocolate semifreddo with hasselnuts and dulce de leche. And the fired veggies with lemon and burnt butter of course, at the moment we have a great deal of fantastic vegetables from Jens at Carlsons Grönt, a small biodynamic farmer who we buy as much as we can from. Good raw ingredients are the key to everything, a dish can never be better than its ingrediants.

How is it to run a family business?

– We are two families that run the company and always have very fun board meetings! We know eachother from before and trust eachothers opinions. Simply put, we know who we are and what we like! We’ve also been good at splitting up who does what. We are a chef, an architect, a marketing exec, and a Deli and cheese expert. So our roles are already from the beginning kind of decided. Henrik the chef is also the VD and the one that’s most hands on with Anna who runs Svartsjö Logi. One advantage is that we can be flexible with our work and home life. I think it ́s easy to leave our private life at home and focus on the job when I´m there. On the minus side, its hard not to take your job home, sometimes you just need to switch off and be private. And it ́s hard when our lives at home effect our life at work, sometimes you wish you could clone yourself, haha! And if you don’t mind: lets for once and for all poke holes in the myth that it ́s nice to have your kids at work, Please!

What ingredients do you always have at home?

– Lemon, butter, garlic, and olive oil, mmm and wine!

How does the future look for you?

– We’ve been open a little more than a year, and during that year we have been testing and have now learned, with the help of our guests, what we want to offer. Now our full focus is on providing a varied and exciting menu for both lunch and dinner. We are complimenting our team during the fall with a sommelier and are working on an exciting and living wine list. We are also gonna put on many themed nights. Henke and Anna will be at the restaurant and in charge, while Ellen works as marketing director for HOPE, and Jacob will help start up a new architects studio NG1912 for Nordiska Galleriet, but we will all work closely to develop Matateljén together.








Mix the wild garlic with a natural oil. Then add the mayonnaise: whip an egg yoke with a little whit wine vinegar or lemon, gradually add the wild garlic oil while you whip (around 1 dl oil/egg yoke). Salt to taste and add mor lemon or vinegar to taste.

Cut off the bottom part of the asparagus. Oil and salt them, bake the asparagus in the oven at 175 degrees for 3 to 4 minutes. Plate directly with the wild garlic aioli: grate some Pecorino on top and finish with a wild garlic leaf.





Try and find a big and “airy” cabbage. Pull it apart leaf by leaf. Drop the leaves in boiling water for a few seconds, then put them in ice water. Then fill the rolls with what you like and what’s in season. This roll is filled with kimchi, marinated bean sprouts ( marinate the bean sprouts in sesame oil, lemon, and soya) feta cheese, wild garlic aioli, pickled radish, and finely cut cabbage. Try not to overfill them and try to roll them up as tight as possible.





We always save the left over juice from cooking rhubarb, we often add a little vanilla, lemon and maybe star anis. It’s ok to freeze any juice you like. Taste it first so you know it has the right amount of sweetness (it always tastes a little less sweet in frozen form). Put it in the freezer at least a day. Take it out and scoop it out with a spoon into a cold bowl with a dollop of vanilla cream in the bottom.

Published March 28, 2018