East Meets West: Marcus Jernmark’s Dashi Barigoule

Up close and personal with Marcus Jernmark’s “magical” Japanese-influenced artichoke barigoule.

Words by Sophie Miskiw. Photography by Johan Ståhlberg.

When you take your first seat at three Michelin Star restaurant Frantzén it’s on the understanding that you’re about to begin a journey. Not a physical journey as such (the restaurant is laid out across three floors which diners traverse during the ten-course meal), but a meticulously planned journey of flavours, textures, and temperatures.

Each dish is designed to progress to the next without saturating the taste buds or interrupting the gastronomic story executive chef Marcus Jernmark and his team have created for you. While the menu is often updated, Marcus holds certain dishes closer to his heart and as such, they tend to make more regular appearances.

“One of my favourite things to cook and one of those classic cooking school dishes is artichoke barigoule,” says Marcus. “The way you cook the artichokes in wine with citrus fruit has been one of my biggest inspirations for sauce making, which I love to do.”

With its Nordic-Japanese-European hybrid food concept, the M.O. at Frantzén is to identify elements from Japanese cuisine, such as its simplicity, aesthetics, and aroma, and combine them with ingredients and techniques stemming from Europe and the Nordics. Marcus’s artichoke barigoule ticks all these boxes, blending a classic French recipe with ingredients from the East and augmenting it with flavours found closer to home.

“It’s become a staple flavour profile. We use all the classic flavours like white wine and lemon, but we look into our Japanese larder instead and cook the artichokes in yuzu, sake, and rice vinegar. Then we do this classic French clarification and get this beautiful essence. We also use a dashi in the base with dried scallops and katsuobushi so it’s loaded with umami.”

From there, Marcus continues, the barigoule is combined with an oil made with leaves from a citrus farm in the south of France which have been sent fresh and ground down with a mortar and pestle then mixed with grapeseed oil.

“That flavour is just magical. Imagine the bergamot, sudachi leaves, and Buddha hand leaves, and this sort of mishmash of citrus fruits. It creates a super exotic and floral flavour.”

Whisked together with a touch of matsutake oil and added to the barigoule-dashi, the result is a highly acidulated vinaigrette which is topped with black-footed pork and grilled blue lobster from the Nordics. The mix of flavours is “just unbelievable” says Marcus, combining citrus fruits with earthy umami flavours.

“One of the most important flavour combinations is the pork fat with the black pepper together with that sort of stringent acidic floral flavour from the vinaigrette. It’s just the perfect context for showing off the sweetness which is our focus two thirds of the menu in where we’re working heavily with fish and seafood.”

This particular artichoke barigoule, which Marcus also describes as “not necessarily an artichoke barigoule”, is typically connected to another of his favourite dishes: a chawanmushi served with caviar and aged pork broth. It’s the texture of the two dishes that connects them, with one naturally complementing the other and putting the wider menu into context.

“Lobster has integrity and a bite to it, and artichoke is a fairly textual vegetable as well. So here we are working with more natural, more intense textures while with the chawanmushi you’re playing on soft texture, so the dishes interact well together and we often serve them connected to each other.”

With its high acidity and natural sweetness from the shellfish, the barigoule is typically served with a slightly younger wine like a Reisling, while the chawanmushi - which comes later in the menu - is paired with a more complex wine gravitating towards a white burgundy. It’s intentionally transportive, guiding the guests towards the culmination of the meal through the textures of the dishes and complexity of the wines.

“The two dishes showcase how a progression can take place,” Marcus concludes.

Words by Sophie Miskiw. Photography by Johan Ståhlberg.