REYKJAVIK, Iceland – This weekend, the country of Iceland hosted the world’s largest supper club. Visitors from around the globe dined at a hidden location in the fashionable Old Harbor. Guests were hosted by Inspired by Iceland in conjunction with Reykjavik’s Food & Fun Festival.
A brigade of leading chefs from the Icelandic culinary team including the award-winning Stefán Viðarsson of Icelandair Hotels, took the guests on a gastronomy journey, cooking up a feast of delicious cuisine from all four regions of Iceland. Diners enjoyed a feast of salted cod, Icelandic shrimp, locally sourced lamb and an array of colourful salads and vegetables.
Over 300 guests were welcomed by Einar Örn Benediktsson, head of Reykjavik’s Department of Culture and Tourism and former member of Icelandic post-punk band The Sugarcubes.
The entertainment was produced by award-winning theatre company Vesturport and included special performances from The Icelandic Sailor School choir and a sing-along with legendary Icelandic cowboy Valgeir Gudjonsson. Ragnhildur Gísladóttir and Helgi Svavar also collaborated on a song written exclusively for the evening.
In addition to tourists, guests included renowned chef Siggi Hall, Högni Egilsson, frontman of Icelandic band Hjaltalin, and an array of visiting foreign foodies.
The Supper Club took place on the same weekend as Reykjavik’s Food & Fun Festival which ran from the 27th February – 2nd March. The annual festival is a chance for the world’s best chefs to cook their own exclusive menus at Reykjavik’s best restaurants before battling it out to be crowned ‘Food & Fun Chef of the Year’.
Inga Hlín Pálsdóttir, Director, Marketing & Visit Iceland at Promote Iceland, says: “Food and music are at the heart of Icelandic culture and we like to welcome visitors to experience both with open arms. It’s such a pleasure to have been able to share Iceland’s first ever Supper Club with Icelanders and visitors from around the world.
Hundreds of tourists registered to attend the Supper Club via an online registration page on the Inspired by Iceland website. For a chance to be at the table tourists we’re asked to contribute an alternative name for Iceland, with the best suggestions receiving an invite to the event.
The Supper Club acts as part of a wider campaign from Inspired by Iceland welcoming submissions for a name that better describes the island. Guests at the event we’re encouraged to share their own names and descriptions of the country, which will be shared on Inspired by Iceland’s social channels.
To celebrate the Food & Fun Festival, Inspired by Iceland have shared some of the best Icelandic recipes from the chefs involved in the festival on the blog have been tweeting live updates from Reykjavik with the hashtag #foodandfunfest.
The food took a team of eight chefs six hours to prepare.
Ingredients included 30 whole cod, 40 legs of lamb and thousands of shrimp.
Tables were laid with 600 sets of cutlery, 600 glasses and 140 tablecloths
The full culinary team included:
Stefán Viðarsson – chef Icelandair Hotels
Johannes steinn Johannesson – chef Reykjavik Marina (slippbarinn)
Haflidi Halldorsson – President iclandic Chef association
Ódinn Birgir Árnasson – slippbarinn
Sindri Geir Gudmundsson – slippbarinn
Ólafur Stefansson – slippbarinn
In August 2012 the Inspired by Iceland campaign asked people a simple question: “What would you name Iceland if this was your first glimpse? _ _ _ _ Land?” and in just three weeks over 10,000 responded.
Many of those who contributed suggested that the name Iceland was misrepresentative and that another name may better reflect the country.
A naming page is visible on the http://www.inspiredbyiceland.com website and the most popular contributions can be viewed along with the latest videos and images from the campaign.
The conversation will also be available on the Inspired by Iceland Facebook and Twitter pages.
Chef Tom Sellers, known for his time at Noma and now gaining notoriety with his own restaurant, Story, visited the Icelandic regions in 2012 as part of the Food ‘n’ Fun fest to explore Icelandic cuisine.
Tom Sellers, Head Chef, Story, says: “I am exceedingly intrigued by Icelandic cooking. Traditional delicacies are clearly still important to their food culture but Icelandic food has taken a modern turn. They have access to some of the freshest ingredients in the world and the cooking is simply outstanding.”