Photo Credit: Michael Isabell
Håkan Mårtensson is a Sweden-born confectioner and pastry chef who opened his Beacon storefront Håkan in 2021. At age 15, Håkan (pronounced Ho-kan) enrolled in the Culinary Institute in Kristianstad, Sweden. At 22, he was recruited as a sculptor on the Swedish National Culinary Team. Despite competing against chefs with decades of experience, Håkan brought home gold medals from the World Cup in Luxembourg, and the Culinary Olympics in Erfurt. He moved to Beacon by way of New York City, where he was master chocolatier at FIKA NYC before that company went under.
In this interview Håkan talks about his culinary philosophy and what he’s trying to accomplish with his Beacon storefront. Evident throughout the episode are his incredible work ethic and deep love of chocolate.
Håkan is interviewed by Alana Semuels, a journalist from Boston who spent more than a decade as a staff writer for the Los Angeles Times and then The Atlantic. Alana is currently senior economics correspondent at TIME magazine. She’s done podcasting work for Marketplace and Planet Money, and has co-hosted NPR’s The Indicator, sometimes recording audio from the closet of the Beacon house she is renting. She moved to Beacon with her husband and toddler in summer 2022 from San Francisco.