‘Where the fresh wind blows white horses towards sharp black mountains that fall steeply to the sea, where giant cod swim deep below the sharp eyes of circling sea eagles, the moss-carpeted Lofoten islands sit in the far northerly west of Norway below Tromsø, ninety-five miles north of the Arctic Circle.‘
Each year, on the equinoxes and solstices, Holmen Lofoten is home to Kitchen On The Edge Of The World, a four day culinary getaway where brilliant chefs and bright thinkers come to our far-flung corner to cook, talk and explore the landscape.
Kitchen On The Edge was founded by chef, writer and broadcaster Valentine Warner together with owner Ingunn some years ago. Valentine hosts and cook at all events, and is known for his deep understanding of both wild and cultivated ingredients and his ability to make something delicious with apparently little, most likely gathered from his immediate surroundings.
But how did Valentine end up in our tiny, family run hotel and restaurant at the tip of the Lofoten Islands?
It all started when Ingunn, at home in South Korea, watched ‘Valentine Warner Eats Scandinavia’, and thought it right Val should come and see her hotel, Holmen Lofoten, to get a sense of the place and have a chat. She wanted the hotel to be something more out of the ordinary:
“Time poor, I could ill afford a jolly, but on ringing Ingunn up, liked her bright voice and understood her to be an interesting, inquisitive and humorous woman. And so, acting on a hunch, I said yes.
A few months later, after a staggeringly beautiful drive through the fjords, I arrived in a town called Å at a collection of wooden fishermen’s huts, sitting higgledy-piggledy at the water’s edge. It was love at first sight. Like a roaring waterfall tipping foam into deep space, this was a hotel on the edge of the world. In this clean air, the overwhelming and invigorating elements chased urban worries from out my head and across the sea. ‘I belong here,’ I felt.”
And the rest.. is history.
You can read Val’s whole story of his first time with us here: Island of the Gods.