Anders Husa speaks with Viking magazine about his passion for photography, travel and all things food.
By Frances Smith
In 2011, Anders Husa created a blog called Foodie Stories to document his favorite restaurants. Today, he’s an award-winning food expert and writer that’s on the pulse of Norway’s restaurant scene. Between traveling, snapping photographs and making YouTube videos, Husa spreads the word about cutting-edge restaurants in Scandinavia and beyond. He recently became involved with 360 Eat Guide, an organization aiming to create a list of Nordic restaurants leading the way in sustainability and culinary excellence. In January, the globetrotting blogger visited the United States to sample up-and-coming eateries from coast to coast. Viking spoke with Husa about his roots in Scandinavian cuisine and can’t-miss recommendations.
Did you always envision yourself becoming a food writer, or was your path unexpected?
My path to become a food writer was definitely unexpected. I got my passion for food from my parents—particularly from my dad who taught me how to cook. I almost went to culinary school but specialized in marketing; my master thesis was about social media. After my studies, I started to eat out more and more. Whenever I traveled I would do research in advance to make sure we ate the best food. Eventually, I became a resource for family and friends and sent long lists of recommendations whenever they asked. At some point, I figured I could gather this information in a blog. I quit my regular job two and a half years ago to focus full-time on food writing.
You are currently Norway’s chairman for 360 Eat Guide. What motivated you to get involved?
I was approached by Pär Bergkvist who had years of experience working with the White Guide [a review of the best Nordic restaurants]. He wanted to create a new guide that also took sustainability into consideration. I think it’s one of the most important focuses of the restaurant world at the moment. We want to create a top 100 list of the best restaurants in the Nordic region, with a separate score for sustainability, including topics such as waste management, recycling, and the use of local, seasonal and organic produce. Our goal is to inspire and encourage restaurants to work to be more sustainable by celebrating the ones who are—not by punishing the ones who aren’t.
How do your roles as a writer, photographer and consultant blend together in the content you produce?
Everything started with photography, and I think the quality and style of my images are still the most important reasons why people enjoy the content I produce. My writing has improved immensely since the first blog post, but English is still not my first language, so it will always be a challenge. I have traveled a lot the past few years and eaten at restaurants all over the world, which has given me a good foundation for consulting on topics like food trends.
If you could travel to any city in the world based on its cuisine, where would you go next?
Japan is number one on my wish list and it has been for years. I have postponed my trip so many times, because I’ve been afraid that it won’t be as great as I want it to be. Finally, I just decided enough is enough. This April, I’m going with my girlfriend Kaitlin Orr who is from Los Angeles. I can’t wait.
Having recently traveled through the United States, which restaurants should people keep on their radar?
Kaitlin is the U.S. expert and I trusted her suggestions 100 percent. We ate so much great food, but a few places that exceeded my expectations were Olmsted in New York and Bavel in Los Angeles. These had well-executed concepts, interesting and extremely tasty food, good vibes and cool venues.