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Chef Of The Year – 1999 and 2000

Start: 1999

Case story:  We produced the event and competition in 1999 and 2000. The competition was broadcasted on Swedish Television and TV4.

It was an event hosted by partners from the Swedish food industry at the Grand Hôtel in Stockholm. A one day event where 10 chef finalists compete in front of an audience side by side with each other. The audience watches the competitors and attend various seminars during the day. The winners were announced at the grand gala dinner the same evening.


Karl Ljung in action – Winner 1999.

Changing the brand to "Årets Kock"

The competition's official name was "Gastronomiska Akademiens Mejerimedalj" (The Dairy Medal of the Academy of Gastronomy) but the nickname in the business was "Årets Kock" (Chef of The Year). This had grown to be a sensitive issue as the Academy of Gastronomy, which was under the patronage of the Swedish King, had built up the event and competition during many years. The competition was in initiated in 1983 by the legendary chef Tore Wretman in cooperation with the Academy of Gastronomy and Swedish Dairy Association.


Despite the sensitivity we argued firmly for an outside-in perspective and pushed hard for the shift of the formal name into Årets Kock. A "New Brand Plan" was suggested doing it in two steps – first year keep the Academy's medal as part of the logo and call call it "Årets Kock – Gastronomiska Akademiens Mejerimedalj". Second year the competition was suggested to step up and be the largest competition in Sweden and change name to "Årets Kock – Svenska Mästerskapet i Professionell Matlagning" (Swedish Championship in Professional Cooking). Possibly the academy's medal could be removed from the logo year 2 or 3. But still be kept as the actual medal for the winners.


Our assignment grew from being an event project into a branding  project. With an event. The final logo was accepted and introduced with great success in 1999.

1999 – A brand new graphic face

We created a new graphic design and used it on everything, creating a new strong visual impact of the entire event. A professional photographer was given the artistic freedom to create a strong graphic image line, based on food ingredients. The result was met with enthusiasm and the sensitive issue about the name vaporised as the event started. Touché!


The transformation of Grand Hôtel 1999 – in high speed motion.


The top three winners, from left: Stefan Catenacci (2nd), Karl Ljung (Winner) and Magnus Lindström (3rd).


Swedish Dairies' CEO, Sven Malmström, Event Director Monica Brand and Royal Caterer Werner Vögeli.


The new brand was "showered" over the event and on all team members, crew, asistants and TV-production staff members etc.


The too male dominated jury (hm,...): from left Christer Lingström, Sven-Åke Larsson, Anders Dahlbom, Gert Klötzke, Thomas Dreijing, Mattias Dahlgren, Leif Mannerström and Werner Vögeli.

2000 – Introducing "Streetfood"

The competition had by now officially qualified to be titled the Swedish Championship in Professional Cooking. To lift the attention even further it was decided to create a bold theme for the "Millennium Year" and street food came up as an idea and a sign of the times. Streetfood is not a new thing, but for professional chefs to compete in something that should be "simple and fast" instead of traditionally advanced, was to some extent controvercial.


The streetfood images from around the world in action. And the serving container alternatives the chefs could chose to serve their food in for the jury... all paper, no single use plastics of course.

Streetfood in Sweden is basically hotdogs and hamburgers, so in order to get exciting images and video we ditched the image banks archives and allocated the image budget for air fair tickets and went off, unpaid, for a round the world trip - Anders Dahlbom/Chef Of The Year 1993, Martin Sundström/Photographer and myself as Project Manager and Video Photographer. The image budget was slim so there was no room for hotels haha:-) We flew in to the cities, went downtown and went back to the airport for next flight. And sleep. Stockholm, Mumbai, Bangkok, Singapore, Sydney, Buenos Aires, New York, London and back to Stockholm in 11 days.

We came back with thousands of images and tens of hours of footage. And a once in a life time experience. Great content for the creation of a visual design on street food from around the world...


"Streetfood – something you eat between two addresses..."

The transformation of Grand Hôtel 2000 – in high speed motion.


Client: Monica Brandt, Swedish Dairies
Chef Coordination: Föreningen Årets Kock
Brand management: B Bertoft
Event management: B Bertoft, Annica Lewander/Zorro
Art and brand design: Fredrik Neppelberg and Per Carlsson
Copy: Annica Lewander and B Bertoft

Foto: Martin Sundström
Video: Producer B Bertoft, Edit Anders Lindén, Photo Mikael Olander

World Travel Team: Anders Dahlbom, Martin Sundström and B Bertoft

Press clips in Swedish:

Aktuell Gastronomi 1999

Aktuell Gastronomi 2000
Restauranger&Storkok 2000

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