Thursday, January 06, 2011

Icelandic food and fashion

January 6

I was not a high-ranking reporter at the fashion show I went to last night.

When I checked in they handed me a card with the letter ‘C’ on it, meaning I was to be seated in the third of three rows.

That briefly hurt my feelings until I remembered that I wasn’t a fashion writer.

I was at the show, at Volvo Hall in New York’s Scandinavia House (does it it surprise you that Scandinavia House has a Volvo Hall? I didn't think so), as a guest of Hlynur Gudjonsson of the Icelandic consulate, whom I met at a lunch a couple of years ago, just as his country’s economy was on the brink of ruin.

An Icelandic outerwear company called 66° North was holding a fashion show last night, and it was being catered by Lava restaurant at The Blue Lagoon, a hot spring that’s a short detour from the road between Iceland’s Capital, Reykjavík, and the national airport.

Hlynur and I agreed that the food was reason enough for me to go to the show.

Nordic food isn’t exactly all the rage these days, but there is a lot of buzz about it, largely due to my fellow food writers’ current love affair with René Redzepi, chef of the much ballyhooed Noma restaurant in Copenhagen. But there are other factors at work, too (I wrote about them last July).

So I sipped a cocktail made from Icelandic vodka and ate assorted delicacies. The one pictured above is brandade with tarragon mayonnaise and rye bread. The bread is crumbled on top and looks like dirt, as is the current fashion.

Speaking of fashion, I didn’t realize until it started that this was the first proper fashion show, with a catwalk and everything, that I’d ever attended.

And I realized what a terrible, miserable job being a fashion model must be. I mean, you’re basically a coat rack, but it’s still hard work. You have to stand up straight and walk smoothly and no-doubt spend hours waiting to put on the clothing and walk out on a runway for a few seconds so everyone can look not at you but the clothing that someone made you wear.

The models themselves looked beyond bored. They looked downright resentful — so much so that I wondered if they were instructed to look that way for some reason or if they just couldn’t help it.

My phone’s camera was not up to the task of taking pictures that brought out the models’ inner pain. The one on the right was the best I could do. But here are some good ones from the blog Her Campus.

What else I ate:

lamb filet with peanuts and basil

smoked Arctic char with celery root purée

fried langoustine with garlic and Jerusalem artichoke

dill-cured salmon with (honey) mustard on toast

skyr with blueberry and crumbles


Mr Lonely said...

visiting here with a smile today... =D

regards, Mr Lonely,
A Growing Teenager Diary,

Barton said...

My Icelandic culinary experience was cooking cream cheese pizzas on a superyacht parked at Chelsea piers.