When the volcano Eyjafjallajökull eruptied in the spring of 2010 an incredible amount of ash stopped air traffic all over Europe. It also affected the area closest to it and one of the farms located there is Thorvaldseyri. It was an enormus amount of ash that came down in this area and the remains are still visible. After the eruption stopped the farmers did everything possible to minimize the damage, and a little bit of ash can actually help the grass grow. Thorvaldseyri farm is not the traditional Icelandic farm. There hey grow and harvest their on flour as well as making their own rape-seed oil.
Next, Chef Volli is headed to Hvalfjordur to collect some fresh wild mussles which he then takes to the family lodge where he bakes a thin crusted bread with the wheat he got from Thorvaldseyri farm and makes a one of a kind soup with the mussles.
He then heads to a town called Stykkisholmur where he meets up with a friend of his that runs a company that specializes in sea tours. A journey through the Breiðafjörður bay is an incredible adventure where you see countless birds, such as puffins, eider ducks, shags, kittiwakes and if your lucky – the majestic white tailed eagle. They cast overboard a small net-plough and catch some crabs, scallops and even a monkfish. Chef Volli decides to set up a kitchen out doors where he cooks up some scallop crevice and grills the monkfish.
At the end he heads back to the lodge where he picks some fresh rhubarb and makes a mouthwatering desserts out of meringue, rhubarb and strawberries.
In this episode the focus is on meat. Chef Volli starts by going to a beef farm that has some of the best meat in Iceland. From there he heads to Mosfellsbakari – a bakery that is known for it´s bread and pastrys. There Chef Volli picks up a bread and then he heads to the kitchen where the plan is to make a gigantic beef and cheese sandwich – using cheeses such as brie and camembert.
The next destination is in east Iceland – a unique farm where some magic is happening. Not only does the farmers there make skyr and feta cheese to sell, but they also run the farm and recently decided to open up a restaurant as well. There you can also buy their products as watch the process of them being made. These farmers are actually a good example of the innovation of icelandic farmers and how some of them are expanding their buisness towards other venues such as tourism. Chef Volli gets some fresh skyr and feta cheese that he takes with him to his kitchen where he continues to cook up a storm with the beef.
For dessert Chef Volli decides to make his own ice cream at a farm called Erpsstaðir that has been experimenting with ice cream for quite a while now. Volli decides to use fresh mint that he got from another farmer as well as black currant berries. The ice cream turns out delicioulsly so he heads back to the kitchen, makes some sugarbaskets that he then serves the ice cream in.
Chef Volli starts this episode by going to the village of Höfn í Hornafirði, where some local fishermans are fishing mackril. They are also smoking the mackril and he grabs a few with him and heads to the kitchen were he makes two beautiful dishes out of the fish. Next he heads to the eastern part of Iceland where he first meets up with a mushroom expert that shows him a thing or two about mushrooms. He then goes bramble berry picking before heading to Hotel Hallormsstaður where his friend Þráinn is the manager. Þráinn is also a chef and likes to experiment with different things, he shows Volli his birch syrup that he´s making and then he makes a risotto from the bramble berries and the mushrooms. He also shwos Volli how he´s smoking Raindeer meat and cooks an incredibly tasty dish frome freshly smoke meat and other local ingredients – such as the risotto he just made.
His next destination is a village called Hella. Apples are not commonly grown in Iceland – mostly due to the cold weather but some farmers have managed to do just so and Chef Volli goes to visit one of them. He then picks a few to take to his kitchen where he makes a delicious dessert using the apples he just picked.
In this episode Chef Volli ventures to the northern part of Iceland, which is a breathtakingly bautiful area crowded with volcanos and geothermal energy. He starts at Lake Myvatn where he meets up with a farmer which is smoking salmon, char and trout in the traditional way. He also shows the viewers how to bake rye bread by using geothermal energy – by burying it in a hole in the ground for 24 hours.
Next he going to Hraunsrétt which is where sheeps are gathered from the mountains in the fall. Since sheeps from different farms roam together during the summer it is essential that the farmers collect their sheeps and not their neighbors. Therefore all the farmers in certain areas gather the sheeps together, run them into what is call réttir and sort them out there, before taking them back home to the farm.
The whole event is filled with traditions and ceremonys. Some are dressed in a special way, some are members of a choir, others enjoy a drink or two, but mostly it´s about meeting your friends and neighbors. It is ofcourse different today with modern communications but back in the days people from different farms didn´t meet that often so the event was an important part of the social life.
He then heads to Laxá in Aðaldalur which is close by – a salmon river so spectacular that it is called the queen of icelandic rivers. People travel from all over the world to fish in it and to enjoy the beautiful nature, the tranquility and above all – to try to catch the big one! Consiquently Laxá is where Chef Volli grew up so he meets up with his family. He then ends up in the family lodge where he cooks some delicious lamb meat and makes some traditional pancakes that are very similar to crépes.
In this episoed the focus is on lobster/langustine and vegetables. Chef Volli starts by travelling to a small village on the south coast of Iceland, called Stokkseyri were the countrys most renowned lobster restaurant is located. There he meets up with the local chef that shows Chef Volli how he likes to cook the langustine; in a simple yet rustic kind of way. Next Chef Volli heads to the harbor in Þorlákshöfn were a lobster boat has just arrived with some freshly cought langustine.
On his way back to the kitchen he stopps at Flúðir, a geothermal area, were fresh vegetables are grown in greenhouses all year around. There, a friend of his, a farmer named Baddi, explains the process; how the geothermal energy is used and shows him some of the vegetables he´s growing. Chef Volli leaves Baddi with an abundance of fresh vegetables that he will be using in his kitchen later in the episode. His next stop is a local farmer at Mosfellssveit, which is just outside of Reykjavik. There the farmers are growing vegetables, flowers and in this case more importantly: strawberrys. It is precicely the strawberrys that Chef Volli is looking for and after picking a fair amount he heads to his kitchen where he starts by making a delicious and a suprisingly simple vegetable soup. Next he focuses on the langustine and makes two seperate dishes out of it, and at the very end he uses the delicious strawberries to make a rustic strawberry cobbler that is sure to melt in your mouth.
In this episode the focus is on fish. Chef Volli travels with his friend Chef Siggi to Vestmannaeyjar, the Westmann Islands, a paradise at the end of the world
where the molten lava runs close to the surface, and the puffins circle
tirelessly above their precarious homes built on sheer cliff faces.
They start their journey by gathering fresh trout from Reynisvatn, which is, located just a few kilometers/miles from Reykjavik. In the Westmann Islands the start by gathering fresh seaweed from a place called Solva. What makes the seaweed from Solva so special it that it is partly located in a cave so the seaweed is constantly bathed by fresh water as well as the sea. That makes the seaweed a little less salty than traditional Icelandic seaweed. To gather the seaweed from this special location you have to travel by boat. After that they travel to one of the smaller Westmann Islands that is unpopulated except for sheep’s during the summer. On the Island is a single cabin, built by puffin hunters that used to hunt the puffins during the fall. On their way to the Island they catch fresh cod and make sushi on the boat as they travel to the Island where it is Siggi´s turn to make fresh salad from the trout that they caught earlier that morning and the seaweed.
After making the salad they say goodbye to the Westmann Islands and head to Reykjavik again, more specifically to Siggi´s restaurant that is located in the top floor of the tallest building in Iceland. There Chef Siggi shows the viewers how to steam cod that has been marinated in fresh herbs along with other delicacies and after that Chef Volli heads to his own kitchen where he cooks his own version of the cod by making it both sweet and spicy.