For Brontë Aurell, pictured, the grand duchy helped her to mould her current career
Best-selling author Brontë Aurell penned much of her fourth book, “North: How to Live Scandinavian”, on the terrace of Liquid Bar in the Grund.
Since 2014, Brontë Aurell has been writing about Scandinavian food and culture and has published several books, as well as appearing on TV and radio. What few people know is that she has deep connections to Luxembourg, and that the grand duchy has helped to mould her current career.
Brontë currently lives in London with her Swedish husband, Jonas, and runs the popular ScandiKitchen, a café, Nordic grocery store and catering company, just around the corner from the BBC headquarters.
“When I wrote my first cookbook back in 2014, there weren’t many Scandinavian cookbooks out there, to be honest. But as interest in Scandinavia grew, I began to write more. These days, I get paid to do the thing I love and, man, does it feel good!”
Brontë, a Danish national, moved to Luxembourg when she was 16 years old and naturally has strong ties with the country she grew up in. “Every year on the Grand Duke’s birthday, I wish I was back in Luxembourg celebrating with everyone else! I miss the north of the country, swimming outside at Remich and randomly meeting friends for drinks in bars after work. That doesn’t happen in bigger cities. I am the person I am today because of where I grew up, so of course Luxembourg is important to me.”
Like many young entrepreneurs, Brontë moved to London in her twenties and continued to work in finance before finding her way into startups like Innocent. Realising her heart was in food, she opened ScandiKitchen 11 years ago.
“London gave me opportunities that I couldn’t find so easily at the time in Luxembourg. Looking back now, I’m sure that many lunches in the ScanShop in Neudorf in some way inspired me to open ScandiKitchen.”
Whilst London is certainly a lot larger than little Luxembourg, it is also a melting pot of nationalities, just as the grand duchy is.
When she has the opportunity to come to Luxembourg, Brontë finds it an excellent opportunity to write. “I’ve been a writer all my life, just not always a published one,” she smiles. “Luxembourg is one of those places where, for some reason, for me, words flow and I find head space to write. The little outdoor space in Liquid overlooking the water is one of those perfect spots.”
She has received positive notices in the international media. “North: How to Live Scandinavian” was listed in a New York Times article about Scandinavian writing. Her next book, “Summer”, came out in March 2018.
Brontë knows how lucky she is to have a career that she loves and has words of encouragement for anyone who wants to follow their own dreams. “It’s 90% guts and 10% action. Always just go for it, because you’ll never get another life or chance to do it again,” she says. “The difference between people who do it and the people who don’t is often not a question of talent, but courage. You just need to be prepared to look like a fool, which I’m making into an art form, and take the chance.”
This article was first published in the February 2018 edition of Delano Magazine.