Home Of Nordic Flavours In Action
Every single day of the year, Jim-André Stene gathers drops of wild taste bombs to great pleasure for experimental chefs in Norway. He is a gatherer, has a green business and is an entrepreneur.
With sustainability as a guiding star and a farm-to-table ambition, he today delivers over 300 different plants, mushrooms, seaweed and kelp to top restaurants in Trondheim and Oslo. Some of them starred in Michelin. The demand is formidable and new inquiries come every week. New species are learned and the repertoire is continuously expanded. It started with just Jim-André, now they are a gathering team of 16, deliver to about 130 restaurants and have about 300 product lines.
A picture on a Facebook page marked the start of the green business. A thought turned into a company, and a dream became reality.
– It was Lars Laurentius Paulsen, head chef at Troll restaurant in Trondheim, who, in a Facebook post asked about a certain mushroom. I suddenly became interested when I saw that this might be a rare species. We met up to take a look at the mushrooms, and Lars then told me that he gladly would buy them if I found some. So I asked him how many he wanted. “Bring a hanger”, Lars said. I did as he said and returned with a hanger full of mushrooms! The spark was lit and my first customer was a reality.Jim-André Stene, Trøndelag Sankeri
There are many words of praise in the context of Jim-André Stene. By the restaurants he is referred to as an encyclopedia and important contributor to enriching menus with wild growths. Lars Laurentius Paulsen says that “Trøndelag Sankeri has everything you can dream of and what you did not know you dreamed of from the forest and the shore”.
Jim-André is a type of person who go all in! He previously studied music and played jazz, had a career in the military and worked as a sales manager. He was not originally a lover of the wildlife, but his wife thought that they should spend more time in nature for the sake of their children. So they signed up for a mushroom course to make the hikes a little more interresting, and after only one year, they passed the mushroom-expert test. He began to read everything he came across on the subject, and became completely immersed.
The nature’s produce is just sitting there, like “gather me, refine me and enjoy me”. It felt like a calling and I believe that I have the world’s most meaningful job. I am committed to sustainable gathering. I’m not going to disrupt the ecosystem or destroy anything. I pick up what we’re originally meant to eat.Jim-André Stene, Trøndelag Sankeri
I know the diversity and am passionate about multi-use. One and the same species can be used for an infinite amount. Today, we import large quantities of food and flavors. But why do we do that when the same flavors are naturally found right outside our front door? I don’t have the answer, but I think it’s important to ask the question,” says Jim-André.
Everything I gather is perishable and must be used within a short period of time. It’s a busy life with a lot of logistics, but I am happy in my job!Jim-André Stene, Trøndelag Sankeri
One thing is certain: Jim-André will never run out of nature’s treasures.