Monday, June 20, 2022

Restaurant KOKS in ilimanaq open to guests

On Sunday, June 12, the Faroese restaurant ‘KOKS’ opened in the village of Ilimanaq. The team behind the restaurant is very pleased with the opening and the reception the menu received by the first guests.


At the end of 2021, the Air Greenland Group entered into an agreement with the owners of restaurant KOKS that they would take over ‘Restaurant Egede’ in Ilimanaq this year and next year. The restaurant is housed in a historic building from 1741 and was, until the agreement with KOKS, operated by World of Greenland, one of Air Greenland's subsidiaries. The goal is to put Greenland on the world map, also as a food destination


- By handing over the restaurant to the world-famous KOKS, we attract a new target group to the country - the foodies. It is a niche in tourism that we would like to cultivate and Ilimanaq is an obvious destination to do this in. Here we have the "cottage town" Ilimanaq lodge which is run by our subsidiary, World of Greenland and the restaurant KOKS in the historically beautiful building. The destination along with a selection of some of the world's best ingredients seafood, game and plants. Ingredients that we at KOKS will refine and develop culinary dishes from, which the tourists will travel far for. With the partnership, we pave the way for a "reason-to-go" product, which KOKS has seen the potential in. We are very happy about this and are excited to follow the development, says Jacob Nitter Sørensen, CEO of Air Greenland


Restaurant KOKS has proved that many travel a long way to experience culinary meals in beautiful surroundings. The restaurant has, until now, been housed in scenic surroundings by a lake in Streymoy in the Faroe Islands. Here, the award-winning head chef, Poul Andria's Ziska and his cooking team developed a 'tasting menu' consisting of 17 dishes with local ingredients, for which the restaurant was awarded two Michelin stars in 2019.

Now KOKS has moved to the village of Ilimanaq and the team behind it is excited about its possibilities in the changed surroundings with a new menu.


- We were excited to explore this new territory and offer one of the northernmost fine-dining experiences in the world. Having KOKS located in the village of Ilimanaq, on the outskirts of the UNESCO World Heritage Site Ilulissat Isfjord, is a long-term investment in our brand, in Greenland and in our mission to produce food that is true to the culture far to the north, says restaurant KOKS 'owner Johannes Jensen.
He sees a richness in Greenlandic cuisine, not only in developing new dishes of good ingredients, but also as a place where chefs from Greenland can be trained.


- We have signed a two-year lease on the restaurant in Ilimanaq with hopes and ambition to extend. One of our key components in Koks Greenland is the goal of educating and encouraging Greenlandic chefs and service staff to achieve the standards that have brought so many international visitors to KOKS in the Faroe Islands.
Chef Ziska has produced a new menu following the same strategy as the Faroe Islands - by using local ingredients and adapting Greenlandic dishes to stimulate and entertain contemporary diners while strengthening the valued historical traditions of the original culture.


- Greenland's amazing ingredients, both in protein and vegetables, will be the lift-off for new adventures in taste and flavor. The opening menu has been researched and designed after several visits to Ilimanaq and offers dishes including; The seal blood tartlet with mussels and seaweed, snow crab in truffle seaweed dashi and grouse with blackcurrant salsa, Johannes Jensen explains.

On Sunday, KOKS had the first guests at Ilimanaq lodge and according to restaurant manager and Sommelier, Karin Visth, it went really well.


- After working around the clock to be ready for the opening and that we just managed to get electricity for the new kitchen we have set up, we were excited for the day. It went really well, and the menu was very well received, says Karin Visth.
The price for the menu is 2,100 kroner per person excluding drinks which have been carefully selected for the dishes. In addition, non-alcoholic drinks such as Kombucha and water kefir made from blueberries and silverweed are served. The restaurant manager is pleased with the interest in KOKS in Ilimanaq.


- The interest is great already. Many have booked the lodge in connection with the restaurant visit, but there is a larger selection of tables than there are rooms. Therefore, it is possible to sail from Ilulissat and the surrounding towns and then sail to Ilimanaq to dine at the world-famous restaurant in the period June 12th to September 8th.


- There are still available tables, so it is possible to take a day trip to the countryside. Just remember to reserve the table in advance so we are ready. It requires proper preparation time to make 18 dishes, explains Karin Visth and adds:


- We have spent many hours picking grouse lately she says with a smile.