I was born and raised in a small town called Tönsberg in Norway. I grew up in a family that loved cycling; for us, it was as much a pastime as football might be for others. My father was a very skilled cyclist, especially in the 70's and 80's, when he competed both nationally and internationally. My older brother followed in his footsteps and also went on to compete at a very high level in his cycling career. Attending cycling competitions on weekends was a common part of my childhood.
"To me, my profession is more than a lifestyle..."
Even at an early age I was determined to become a chef. I knew I wanted to cook professionally and I have never regretted that decision. To me, my profession is more than a lifestyle. Recently I have worked and participated a great deal in various aspects of professional cycling. The fact that I have been able to combine my interests in cycling and cooking makes me feel extremely privileged, as I have the opportunity to work with things I am deeply passionate about.
The idea for the first book came from the book's photographer, Patrik Engstöm. We did a job together where he photographed me for a newspaper. We sat down and talked a little bit about the general idea, and shortly afterwards it developed into an interesting opportunity for both of us. A few weeks later, he contacted me and asked if I would be interested in making a cookbook with him. We first spent some time investigating the market for this particular intersection of themes: healthy food and cycling as a lifestyle. We soon discovered that there were no cookbooks that really catered to these interests. A short time later, we released our first cookbook in 2015: "Velochef: Food for Training and Competition", with 80 healthy recipes, all based around meals to have before, during, and after training!
As the idea came forth for my third and last book,"Outside is Free", it became clear that we would focus on food that needed to be cooked outdoors or on a small gas stove. Primus was clearly the manufacturer to contact, considering the equipment we needed for our travels. With their wide range of products, they were able to help us with everything we needed. It’s been great to work so closely with Primus and to get to know their collection so well — especially when it comes to meeting the people behind the products. I have also had the honour of being able to share my own feedback about the products we used, and I had the opportunity to test some of the prototypes that will be launched in 2019. One really important aspect for me has been the incredible focus that Primus has on environmental issues and the sustainability of their products — just another reason why Primus was clearly the best choice for this collaboration.
At the moment, I am involved in several projects based around food and cycling. I participate in various events where I cook and give lectures. During my lectures, I often talk about my experiences in competitive cycling, as well as, of course, my books. Right now, we have no plans for a fourth book, but it’s entirely possible we’ll stumble upon an idea that we’ll choose to go forward with.
For those interested in taking a long trek with your bike out into the world, I recommend the following: Set yourself a goal, and then work slowly towards it. Bring equipment that you feel safe and comfortable with. Whether or not everything goes exactly as planned is beside the point; the important thing is to get out there and explore, all with the goal of discovering the world by cycling through it.
Cycling requires a lot of energy and therefore it is important that you prepare some food before you head out for your adventure. Of course, it’s also very easy to pick up some food en route when you get hungry on the road. However, if you tend towards shorter trips, I highly recommend bringing fresh ingredients instead of dried goods — the joy of cooking outside is something not to be missed.