Journeys in Taste: Episode Five

No one had ever built a restaurant like this
before. Nobody knew how to do it. I would like to say that I knew what I signed in for,
but really I didn’t have a clue. “Hey Chef, can I get some help with this?” “Of course.”
When I came in, I was not sure if the restaurant would be open or not. But I still said yes.
I quit my job, and I said, “Yes, I want to be a part of this.” The reason we built the restaurant here is
because down here, in the southern part of Norway we have the biggest
variety of creatures in the ocean. The weather is harsh, it’s always windy. It’s important
to have a car that can transport me in this unpredictable environment. “This is dried
truffle seaweed. You can try and taste it.” “Mmm, it’s crispy.” In the beginning, we started
working on the menu before the restaurant was finished, and then when we came over to
the restaurant and started watching out of the window, we changed a lot of things. It
would make more sense to bring the things from the window into the dining room. So,
I think it was a good idea to try to make a dessert where the seaweed is kind of dancing.
That’s the future, to use the ingredients you have close to you. And the way that you
think, and producing things locally is more sustainable. It makes much more sense to use
the thing that’s in season right here, right now. A fisherman that’s fishing for langoustine
who will normally take the lobster and throw it back in the ocean because he sees no value
in them, but I saw a lot of value. “They look really delicious, I think.” “How old is the
lobster?” “I don’t know, maybe four, five years? For me it makes no sense to throw them
back in the ocean.” It’s like a theatre. The guest doesn’t really know what they are having before they come and sit down at the table. And I like that, you know, to give people
that surprise. That means that everything could be considered on the menu. “I think
I’ll take this one. Nice white bark, not too much mush.” We take the birch tree bark and
we make an oil out of it. The bark from this tree will last for around two weeks. And the
rest of the wood, we use for all different things. “Perfect!” What is art? Art can be
thousands of things. A tree in the wood can be art. For me, art is also food. Food is
art. A perfectly cooked langoustine can be art for me, with a perfect sauce, on a nice
looking plate. My art, you have to kind of inhale it, can you say that? Make sure that
everything is perfect. Every day, every minute, every second. There’s no room for mistakes.
Because, in a couple of minutes when you have eaten it, it’s gone.

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