Rachel Khoo


Posted by Rachel

November 4th, 2012

Behind the scenes: Swedish crayfish shoot for Sunday Times Style

At the end of August, I embarked on yet another adventure to Smaland in the South of Sweden. I travel there regularly for pleasure, but this time I embarked armed with a creative team (Elodie Rambaud, Frankie Unsworth, Anders Schonnemann) I had put together for an exciting project I had pitched to The Sunday Times Style magazine, which is out today.

Our boat filled with crayfish cages

Each year around August in Sweden, the country celebrates one of its greatest gastronomic wonders, the crayfish. The paraphernalia starts to hit the store; the supermarkets devote aisles to paper crayfish hats (compulsory attire during the feast), crayfish bibs, shed loads of Schnapps and, of course, plenty of bundles of fragrant dill flower (which flavour the magnificent juices you slurp out the crayfish heads). Here in Smaland we were treated to the freshest crayfish of them all, straight from the lake in front of the house.

A bucket of crayfish

Capturing them is a time consuming process. Each morning they row out in the the boats, throw the cages overboard dotted around the lake. Then the next day you have to be up at the crack of dawn (before light or the crayfish might crawl back out) to collect the crayfish from the nets and store them live.

The crayfish are then cooked in plenty of stout and dill flower heads and left to cool in the broth in the garage for us to enjoy later (see the recipes online or in the magazine today).

We started a couple of days early, taking out the nets, foraging for fresh berries and setting up an idyllic crayfish party with a handful of models (read: friends).

Elodie and Frankie admiring their lingonberry collection

Anders came over from Copenhagen to capture the day of preparation for the party and our staged party which we put together before we let our hair down for the real deal on the Saturday.

Niklas fishing with knackebrod and fresh cheese on the jetty

Elodie worked her magic in creating the perfect venue for our guests to enjoy the Swedish spread Frankie and I had prepared.

And just before the rain poured down, we captured these…

Check out the full article in this week’s Sunday Time Style Magazine, for all the recipes and Anders’ beautiful photography. 

Special thanks to Visit Sweden and Hallsnas Gard, for putting us up in their fabulous estate.

And corrections:

The strapline in the magazine mentions Smaland being in Northern Sweden, when in fact it is in South Sweden. Here in fact.




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5 thoughts on “Behind the scenes: Swedish crayfish shoot for Sunday Times Style

  1. So lovely to see that You’re a fan of Smaland (sorry, haven’t got my swedish letters on this keyboard!) and Sweden in general! Makes me realize that it is a land of plenty! Don’t forget to look for “trattkantareller” next time! As You might guess, I am Swedish as well, although I have been living in Barnes, London for the last 17 year. Now I must rush out in the cold and rain, trying to find a Sunday Times! By the way: I love Your work! Thanks a lot!
    Anders Heljeberg

  2. Thanks for the correction. I’m from a small town in the actual North of Sweden (you should go there and pick cloudberries!) and I have to admit it annoyed the hell out of me when I read it. Smaland is about as far South as you can go. Lazy researchers.

    1. Tjena Lina! The furthest up North I’ve been in Sweden is Are (although that’s classed as the middle). Would love to go further north to pick cloudberries though!

  3. Sweden is so lovely, only been to the south but hopefully will travel north some time.
    Comment on fishing with knackebrod made me smile, reminds me of children fishing for crab with pieces of uncooked bacon on a string, they do that here in Holland in summer, is that a dutch habit??

  4. Hej! Nice pictures. Swedish summer, love it. It’s still cold in Stockholm, but soon all the snow is gone. Are you often in Sweden?

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