Pastry chef, poet.
Erik Ofvandahl became early an orphan and came as a poor caring child to the village of Ovandal in Stora Tuna. As an adult, Ofvandahl took his name from that place.
Ofvandahl came to Uppsala as a sugar beetle journeyman and in 1885 started his own confectionery at Östra Ågatan 31. Two years later the confectionery was located at Sysslomansgatan 5, where it still is. In 1901 he changed his surname and the legendary Ofvandahl's soon became a meeting place for students and literary gatherings.
During the 1880s, Ofvandahl often participated in the radical fraternity Verdandis gatherings, which were often held at the pastry shop. At these meetings, Ofvandahl was known for his witty replies and debate speeches on verse.
He was a reputable pastry chef, but the fame stems mainly from the literary creation in the Pekorala genre. Part of the production was funded by Ofvandahl himself.
Ulf Peder Olrog praised his bakery art with the following lines: "At Ofvandahls Patisserie among cakes, you and I, my friend, have both gotten our chins".
Although the Ofvandahl was sometimes subjected to mockery by the students, in hist time, the judgement of him was undivided positive. Erik Ofvandahl is described as a person who dared to live out his individuality and that he was a pleasing companion who was happy to play on his violin. The author Birger Sjöberg writes:
"In the clear hall of heaven
where good thoughts bloom
me and pastry chef Ofvandahl
may rest among the pious'.
Burial site: 0130-1293
Image description: Erik Ofvandahl, unknown year. Photo: Swedish Biographical dictionary / National Archives. [The image is cropped]
Click here for an uncropped image