The Faroe Islands
The Faroe Islands are beautiful in a very Scandinavian way – they’re not comforting or luxurious, but have this wild, untamed natural beauty. There are no trees, just wind and ocean, and I love how the cuisine reflects the place – it’s a great example of how we are good at creating a lot with little.Select
The most notable food is a type of fermented mutton called rast. The meat is hung outside to dry for a few months.Select
You can eat it with a spoon – it’s perfect when you don’t need to use a knife to cut it. Most foreigners find it too much.Select
Fishing is very much part of life, as is hunting, and people are pretty self-sufficient – lots of people have a little butchery in their basement for killing their own sheep.Select
Because the climate is so rough and it never really gets warm (though the winters are mild) only a few vegetables grow – potatoes, turnips, rhubarb and wild herbs – and it’s interesting to see how creative people are with few ingredients.
Torshavn, the capital, is so pretty. It’s like a picture in a children’s book, with cobbled streets and hills and small red houses with white-painted windows. And the ocean is everywhere. You can go and stand on a cliff and feel the waves’ power or just walk out into incredible nature so close to town.
People go to the Faroes especially to eat at Koks restaurant. It has recently moved to Kirkjubour, 10 km outside town.Select
There’s delicious sourdough bread and fermented meat, and all of it comes from the landscape you can see through the window.Select
It has lamb cooked two ways. One is braised a lot longer, served with boiled potatoes and sauce, and desserts such as rhubarb and porridge with cream – what we would call grandma food. Barbara is a more modern fish and shellfish restaurant. Go there to eat mussels and razor clams, or for its famous fish soup, while Etika has great sushi.
Helicopters are quite a common form of transport. They are a good way to visit the more remote islands and surprisingly inexpensive. I used one to visit Stora Dimun, an island where just one family lives – grandparents, parents and children. They raise sheep and make the most wonderful sheepskin.Select
Foroyar is a lovely hotel located a little bit outside of Torshavn. Overlooking Nolsoy Fjord, it has a grass roof and blends into the landscape.
The current movement in Nordic cuisine reflects what was happening 30 years ago in California – when chefs and farmers came together to create a better food scene. Ingredients are so important now, we’re looking to use what is grown on our doorstep.