Daniél Kallonas is head chef at Skapaskolan in Huddinge and has built one of Sweden’s most climate-smart schools. Daniel has become more and more noticed due to the way he works to make his school kitchen as sustainable as possible, which has led to several awards and nominations. In 2019, he was nominated in four categories at the White Guide Junior Gala and won the award for Climate Kitchen of the Year.
Tell us a little about yourself?
– Yes, my name is Daniel Kallonas as I said and I am currently the kitchen manager at a private school in Huddinge municipality, which is called Create the school. I have worked here since January 2019. At this particular school, we work very environmentally friendly and with conscious sustainable methods to reduce food waste and climate footprint.
How long have you been working in the industry?
– It’s just over 20 years, about 23 or 24 if I am to be more precise.
What made you interested in sustainability from the beginning?
– Since I work a lot with school food, we have always had a guideline to promote healthy eating habits and sustainable development. It was there that my interest in working with climate-smart and sustainable foods began. So it’s a bit on the path I got my interest, then in my work you can more easily cave in to what is really climate smart and what is not.
What does sustainability in a restaurant mean to you?
– It is that you should be able to cook food that you should be able to eat with a clear conscience without affecting the climate negatively. It is really to be able to make a choice every day of which products you want to work with and that you remove these foods that are real climate culprits. Such as beef that is not particularly good for the climate. You can make some comparisons in how much greenhouse gas different foods emit and if you then take beef as a comparison, it emits 46 carbon dioxide equivalents per kilo compared to chicken that emits 3 carbon dioxide equivalents. A very big difference between the two. How you also benefit from the climate, you can also look at what kind of food you use and how they affect everything around you.
What tips do you have for someone who wants to start working more sustainably in their own restaurant?
– In my opinion, it is that you should start cooking a little more vegetarian and plant-based. Buy organic and locally produced foods. The fact that you are just starting to replace your old raw materials with organic ones is already a big step towards working more sustainably. It contributes more to biodiversity. and it’s something we really need to do to even have a chance to save the planet. But then you can in many different other ways start working more sustainably, such as going on a course and educating yourself or getting inspiration from other restaurants that work a lot with sustainability.
I have an Instagram account called “Matskaperiet” and there we only work with climate-smart dishes, straight through. To sum up, you can get inspiration from different directions and edges, you just have to want to search for it yourself. After that, there are also workshops you can go to with properly trained lecturers. I myself agree with such. But the first tip would always be to at least start cooking more plant-based and organic.
What are you most proud of during your career?
– It was a difficult question! I am very proud to be able to keep and cook as much vegetarian as we do at my school. There we only serve meat once a week and fish one day, the rest is vegetarian. This is exactly what has received an incredible amount of attention based on the way we work. Among other things, we won Climate Kitchen of the Year by Whiteguide 2019, I received Huddinge Municipality’s environmental award just for my way of working. To specifically promote healthy eating habits and cook very plant-based and vegetarian and always think about being kind to the climate. There are many gobits you are a little extra proud of in your career as I said.
What do you think the future holds for the restaurant industry?
– Yes, now it feels like we are starting to open up a little more. I think it looks bright for the restaurant industry after the tough year we have had. People like to go out and hang out in restaurants and restrictions have begun to be released. So that the industry will remain because people need to eat. But then it is also easier and easier to be able to cook more climate-smart dishes even for ordinary restaurants.
More and more companies are coming out that want to help with the green transition to produce good plant-based foods that make it easy to replace the existing climate culprits. Such goods that we should work less with. Since then, I have seen several vegan restaurants emerge more and more, the standard has been raised more and it has become easier to eat more plant-based wherever you are. What I hope more for myself in the future is that more people jump on this sustainable train and think one step further in what they do so that everything is not just about what you serve to be yummy. It can be good without damaging the climate around you!
What is your favorite restaurant?
– I must probably say then Paul Taylor Lanthandel in Sundbyberg. There are always good, friendly staff and Paul Svensson and his team are incredibly awesome at what they do.
Do you want to know more about Daniél’s work?
Feel free to follow: https://www.instagram.com/matskaperiet/