Edmonton Gets a Taste of Iceland

This is an exciting day for travel enthusiasts in and near Edmonton as Icelandair’s first non-stop flight from Reykjavík to Edmonton lands later today.

photo copyrights © Robert Hoetink - Fotolia.com

The Blue Lagoon, located in Iceland is a popular tourist destination.

The non-stop flight from Reykjavík to Edmonton will be approximately six and a half hours in duration and anyone flying Icelandair on a connecting flight can extend their layover in Iceland up to seven additional days at no extra cost to their flight.

Top things to do on a short layover include checking out Blue Lagoon and the Golden Circle which is a popular tourist route in South Iceland, covering about 300 km looping from Reykjavík into central Iceland and back (source: wikipedia). Last but not least, the Northern Lights are most visible from December through February so don’t forget to get out in the evening to look around (I have to admit, being in the middle of the Aurora in full force is on my bucket list).

To celebrate, Edmonton is hosting a Taste of Iceland event which includes Icelandic food, and music to give you an idea of what you are missing if you haven’t yet visited Iceland. The Food Characters Fine Dining and Chef Shonn have welcomed Chef Hákon Már Örvarsson (winner of Bocuse d’Or and World Culinary Cup) from Iceland and have collaborated to bring you some Icelandic-inspired dishes that will be served up from Wednesday to Saturday evening.

This Icelandic cocktail is made with 3/4 Reyka Vodka, 1/4 Disaronno, 1oz Ice Wine. Shaken with ice and strained into a chilled martini glass and garnished with three white frozen grapes.

This Icelandic cocktail is made with 3/4 Reyka Vodka, 1/4 Disaronno, 1oz Ice Wine. Shaken with ice and strained into a chilled martini glass and garnished with three white frozen grapes.

I can tell you that Friday and Saturday night have already booked up and there is minimal space left on Thursday night. Tonight will most likely be your best bet if you want to get in to try out some of this delicious cuisine. And trust me when I say ‘you will want to’.

The grilled Icelandic langoustine tails with garlic and herbs was by far my favourite dish.

The grilled Icelandic langoustine tails with garlic and herbs was by far my favourite dish.

I had the opportunity to attend a media event last night where I tried out some of the dishes that will be served and I can tell you that those lucky enough to attend one of these nights are in for a treat. Chef Hákon has a passion for the dishes he creates. He brings out the natural flavours of his ingredients in such a way that the dishes are both simple and complex at the same time. I thoroughly enjoyed every dish I tried.

This deep fried breaded cod and potatoes with aioli sauce was very good.

This deep fried breaded cod and potatoes with aioli sauce was very good.

If you are interested in attending tonight, or checking availability for tomorrow night, please visit the Taste of Iceland event page on IcelandNaturally.com.

This is a fun dish to try for both the taste and the presentation. It is gently cooked, then cold smoked and served with honey-grain mustard dressing, flan of horseradish and dill oil.

This is a fun dish to try for both the taste and the presentation. It is gently cooked, then cold smoked and served with honey-grain mustard dressing, flan of horseradish and dill oil.

Make sure you also say ‘yes’ to the desert. Called Skyr of the Vikings, it is a delicate mousse with a wonderful hazelnut crumble (that I wish I had the recipe for).

The Music
The REYKJAVIK CALLING concert series, features Iceland’s own Sin Fang and Lay Low collaborating with Edmonton’s Cygnets and Kaley Bird along with special guest I Am Machi on Friday March 7th at the Brixx Bar and Grill at the Starlite Room. On March 8th, there will also be a techno‐industrial style DJ show featuring high energy Hermigervill from Iceland working alongside popular Edmonton DJ’s DJ Degree, DJ Ten‐O and The Specialist. Tickets for both concerts are FREE on a first come first serve basis -­‐ visit www.icelandnaturally.com for more details. You Can WIN Find Taste of Iceland’s #IcelandSecret and Win a Prize!

Several Icelandic secrets have been hidden throughout the weekend’s Taste of Iceland events. Keep your eyes open at Characters Fine Dining, The Brixx Bar and Grill and elsewhere around Edmonton to discover secrets about Iceland. Whenever you find a secret, share it via Instagram and/or Twitter using the hashtags #IcelandSecret and #TasteofIceland. At the end of the weekend, a secret sharer will be chosen and sent an Icelandic prize pack courtesy of Iceland Naturally and Inspired by Iceland! The more you share, the better your chances of winning.

Wondering what to do this week? Take in a Taste of Iceland and learn more about a country that is a little closer to us now.

Sheri Landry
Sheri publishes, and writes at This Bird’s Day where she shares all of the thoughts in her head without the voices. Sticking mainly with content for Canadians, Sheri shares family stories, product information and anything that fits into her (and her family’s) daily activities.
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