Aska, Swedish for “ashes,” is the two Michelin-starred Brooklyn restaurant run by Chef Fredrik Berselius, and our next door neighbor here in Williamsburg. Aska offers a distinctive dining experience through a procession of courses prepared from an open kitchen and served to guests of only ten tables each night, and we were fortunate to have the force behind it all join us as the first talented voice in our Creative Minds Spotlight here in Brooklyn.
Most underrated thing about your profession?
The heart of what we do at Aska comes down to people. There is our immediate restaurant staff, the farmers, purveyors, countless others who support the restaurant in various ways, and of course the people who come to experience what we do each evening. The convergence of all these people crossing paths, working shoulder to shoulder, building relationships and creating this experience together, often goes unnoticed, yet it is probably what I value most about it.Q:
If you weren't a Chef what would you be?
I would probably pursue a career in a design related field, such as architecture. I always knew I wanted to work in a way that allows for creative freedom and expression, seeing what you envisioned come to fruition, and the ability to work with my hands. I am always sketching ideas for the restaurant, whether it be a new dish or layout of a room.
Tell us a creative experiment gone bad and what you learned from it.
We are constantly experimenting in the kitchen, applying new ideas and practices -- sometimes they don’t turn out the way you planned or hoped for, yet that’s how we learn, grow and move forward.
What do you love most about living in Brooklyn?
I love the sense of neighborhood and creative energy. Brooklyn feeds off everything that Manhattan has to offer yet there is also a sense of calm and still the feeling of a more personal, less commercialized approach.