Håkan Jönsson – a food culture researcher with a culinary twistHåkan Jönsson

Most of my life has revolved around food. I conduct food research, write about food and try in different ways to develop food that is sold and our way of eating it. In addition, I cook, once upon a time as a professional chef, but nowadays only for family and friends.

Above all, I am interested in why we eat. The importance of food and meals for relationships between people and for personal identity fascinates me. Food has a unique ability to create both community and difference, liberation and oppression, enjoyment and anxiety. The meal is one of the cornerstones of culture, and it deserves more attention as a cultural expression than it has received in Sweden.

Short autobiography

I was born in 1971 in Lund, Sweden. I went to culinary school, got my first full-time job in 1988, at Grand Hotell in Lund as a chef. In the mid-1990s, I started studying at the University of Lund and in 2000 received a doctoral position in ethnology. In 2005, I defended my dissertation on the cultural significance of milk in Sweden and in 2010 became an associate professor in Ethnology. For a few years now, I have been a senior lecturer and divide my time between the European Ethnology division and the Department of Food technology, Engineering and Nutrition, both at Lund University.

Research and Development

For several years I have been doing research on the gastronomic development in Sweden. I have published a number of books, articles, book chapters, reviews, chronicles, and more. Most of the work is published in Swedish, but you can find a selection of articles in English below. The research output is continuously updated in the research database LUCRIS. Or Download CV

I am currently working together with Karin M Ekström on the research project ”The retail store as meeting place”. In recent years, international research projects and assignments have become increasingly important. I work within the Horizon 2020 project NextFOOD- Educating the next generation of professionals in the agrifood system and the development project SBFOODINNO. I am also co-chair of the European working group for Ethnological food research.

I have been engaged in several inter disciplinary and academia/industry collaborations. I am a member of the EIT Food secretariat at Lund University. I have been the coordinator of the interdisciplinary platform Lund University Food Studies, worked with development projects within the Skane Food innovation network. Since 2005, I have been a member of the Meal Academy (President 2012-2015) and of the Skåne Academy of Gastronomy.


I teach ethnology, applied cultural analysis, and food studies. I have been a project coordinator during the development of the first Öresund-wide Master’s program ”Master of Applied Cultural Analysis”, which started in the autumn of 2008. We have forty international students, from China to the USA, who study applied cultural analysis. An important part of the education is the connection to activities outside the university. I have developed and also teach two courses directly focused on food; ”Food, tradition and innovation” and ”Sustainable eating”. At the Department of Food Technology, engineering and nutrition I teach the course ”The Relationship between Food Industry, Society and Consumers”.

Read and watch more

Selected articles:

Jönsson, Håkan 2020. A food nation without culinary heritage? Gastronationalism in Sweden. Journal of Gastronomy and Tourism. Volume 4, Number 4, August 2020, pp. 223-237(15)

Jönsson, Håkan 2019. Tales from the Kitchen Drawers : The micro physics of modernities in Swedish kitchens. In: Ethnologia Scandinavica. 2019 ; Vol. 2019, Nr. 1.

Wikström, Solveig ; Jönsson, Håkan ; Decosta, Patrick L Espoir. 2016. A clash of modernities. Developing a new value-based framework to understand the mismatch between production and consumption. I: Journal of Consumer Culture. 2016 ; Vol. 16, Nr. 3. s. 824-851.7

Jönsson, Håkan 2013. ‘Chef Celebrities, food stuff anxieties and (un)happy meals – An introduction to Foodways Redux’. Ethnologia Europea 2013:2. Special Issue: Foodways redux. Editors Regina Bendix and Marie Sandberg. Guest editor: Håkan Jönsson.


Interview about the value of applied research in European Ethnology – Ethnological matterings.

A guided tour of food habits in transition in the supermarket (in Swedish with English subtitles)


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