Through Almondine Fig – Food blog, Italo & I want to explore and share stories connected to food from all around the world. The concept is not only sharing recipes, but also the stories and the people connected to it, to create a beautiful union of everything connected with food.
Since last month, we started this segment called Food profile to go around and meet people, and have a short conversation and share our experiences. For March, we met up with Greg, the owner of La Paella – or if I may “The Paella Man”. If you haven’t checked it out yet, you can do so by clicking here.
For our April’s profile, we caught up with the beautiful Birgitta Thorborg, the owner of The Swedish Pilates Studio in Glen Iris.
Meet Birgitta Thorborg
Birgitta runs The Swedish Pilates Studio in Glen Iris. A former ballet dancer and health enthusiast, she has a strong connection to food that stems back to her childhood and channeled through her journey in life wherever she went. Her interest in ballet gradually turned her toward gym to improve her strength. Birgitta loved the gym so much she later got into bodybuilding, also did competitions, and did very well.
Today she is the director and principal Instructor of The Swedish Pilates Studio. With a Personal Trainer Diploma in Fitness and Certificate in Pilates with Studio Pilates International, Birgitta knows the inside out about fitness which is evident when you look at her. She radiates such great vibes and honestly, just glows!!!
Birgitta is a firm believer that food plays a key role in your health and living a fulfilling life, and hence, your food should not only look good and taste great but every meal must be a memorable experience. We couldn’t agree more!
What ignited your interested in food in the first place?
Growing up in Sweden, my parents taught me to exercise and eat healthy food from an early age. When I later started ballet, I wanted to learn more about muscles and core strength. So I started working out in the gym and loved it so much that eventually I started competing in bodybuilding. I had take great care of my diet and make sure what goes into my body. I had to endure long periods of a super strict diet before the competitions so paying attention to food and nutrition became a major part of my life.
How big of a part does food play in your life?
Food has had a huge impact on my life and always will. At the dinner table, I would never allow mobile phones or my kids to play with their toys. I would also have big conversations with the school my kids were going to because they forced the kids to eat in 10 minutes. I am a great believer that eating should not just be about gobbling up what’s in your plate but be a memorable experience. Rushing a meal is not good for anyone. I often ask my clients what they ate for breakfast. If they hesitate when answering I know it was not a memorable experience for them.
What is your most memorable food experience?
About 4 years ago, I visited Sweden Båstad which is located in Skåne County or the southern part of Sweden. For lunch this day, I had the most amazing oysters. It was like eating the ocean. To this day, I can remember the taste.
What is your biggest food disaster? What did you learn from it?
There are a couple fo food disasters – My kids were making a cake at home and they had one of their Australian friends with them. The recipe was in Swedish and my kids left their Australian friend in charge to read the recipe. The Swedish word mjöl (flour) sounded just like milk. So, they replaced the amount of flour with the amount of milk. This resulted in a cake that overflowed in the oven.
Lesson learned: Always translate your recipes!
The other food disaster was in Sweden and we were making this famous dish called “Flying Jacob” a casserole dish made of chicken, cream, chili sauce, bananas, bacon, and roasted peanuts. The dish was invented in 1976 by a guy called Ove Jacobsson who worked in the air freight industry. On this night my ex-husband was carrying the dish from the kitchen and we were living in a two-story apartment, when he came down the stairs he tripped and fell and the flying Jacob literally became a flying Jacob with this dish flying through the air!
That night we had pizza for dinner instead. I learned that a name of a dish can sometimes become a reality. It was a night to remember!
If you could cook any dish, what would you cook?
I like to cook vegetables. I cook a fair bit of vegetarian food however, sometimes I like to explore more dishes in vegetarian cuisine.
What’s your favorite food?
Salmon, because it tastes great and is such a versatile dish because it goes with everything.
What are the three dishes people must try in their lives?
People must try salmon at least once in their life. I am not too fussed about the other two dishes. I do like when I cook for people and they are open to trying new dishes like herring to take an example.
If you had a message to the world and you had to say it with food. What would you cook?
Salmon on the grill with a herb sauce and potato strips and salad. If I make it on a hot day, I make a sauce with creme fraise, a vegetable stock with any fresh herbs I have at home like parsley, basil, and whitefish roe, etc. On a cold day, I will heat this sauce and add some wine to it.
Point noted: Birgitta loves Salmon!!! The taste and the health benefits that it brings can make anyone turn into a salmon lover. Well of course, if they eat meat.
What is your favorite ice cream?
I love vanilla ice cream! My favorite is the one with a delicious chocolate shell and a nougat center.
If you’re into health and fitness, or love pilates, don’t forget to follow Birgitta & her journey at The Swedish Pilates Studio on instagram! She also takes online bookings from her studio’s official website.