Photo Asaf Kliger
Ice and wilderness meet in gastronomic project
July 9, 2018
ICEHOTEL and Eriksberg Hotel & Nature Reserve will together develop their restaurants to a level of international masterclass.
– It is more than 1750 km between the venues, but when it comes to core values, the distance is not that far, says Per-Arne Olsson, CEO at Eriksberg Hotel & Nature Reserve.
The Swedish Board of Agriculture has decided to grant the project called WILD GOURMET FOOD, a sum just short of SEK 1,9M.
– Sweden aims to be the new food country in Europe, both ICEHOTEL and Eriksberg got a huge potential to develop their uniqueness when it comes to gourmet tourism and at the same time be a part of this growing trend and meet the demands from international food guests, says Per-Arne Olsson.
Aiming at the international market is a way to prolong the national season. Gourmet tourism and ecotourism make it possible to reach new potential target markets. When it comes to eco-tourism, both ICEHOTEL, which uses ice from Torne River as a building material and solar power during the summer, and Eriksberg that is an important gene pool for many plants and animals, already have a huge advantage.
– ICEHOTEL is world famous, Eriksberg is world class. It is two unique destinations in each part of the country that share the love for the food and produce, says Yngve Bergqvist, ICEHOTEL’s founder.
Top twenty in category Nordic kitchen
The vision is to be in the ”top twenty” in the category ”The Nordic kitchen”. This will happen by building a competence network with help from internationally known food creators to assure the need for staff in the countryside. Two regional company clusters will be founded, one in Blekinge County and one in Norrbotten County, to make sure that the supply of local produce and local food artisans. These clusters will then merge to make it possible for small, regional companies to grow and develop their businesses. New products will also be developed, tailored to the growing demand from the international market.
– Our assessment says that several new persons will be offered full-time positions after the project, both within our destinations and in small, local and regional companies that participate. Everyone got a possibility to develop their potential or reach the international market, Together, we can accomplish something really good, says Per-Arne Olsson.
Gastronomy in the spotlight both ICEHOTEL and Eriksberg Hotel & Nature Reserve are offering great gastronomical experiences.
– We are experiencing an immense interest from locals as well as international guests that want to partake in the different creative culinary experiences we offer. A huge trend right now is to both participate and share the food experience with other guests, and with our chefs, like during our Wilderness Dinner where our chef cooks a three-course dinner in the nature for a group of guests or our twelve-course Chef’s Table-menu that has dishes with ice – a food experience where the chef and the sommelier create the dishes in front of the guests and talk about the produce and local food culture, says Christophe Risenius, CEO at ICEHOTEL. Another popular activity at ICEHOTEL is “Nature’s Pantry” where guests and nature guides pick berries and plants and learn how they are used in the Sámi culture and everyday life. The day ends with a Sámi-inspired dinner made by chefs where the collected berries and herbs are used in the menu and served at ICEHOTEL Restaurant.
Project: WILD GOURMET FOOD
Background: Two international destinations with distinguished gastronomical restaurants, with ambitions to grow on the international market. Their similar requisites, unique international destinations in the countryside and the same challenges when it comes to finding solutions to attract competent staff in a rural area, have made them develop a concept together.
ICEHOTEL in Jukkasjärvi opened in 1989 and is beside a hotel also an art exhibition with ever-changing art out of ice and snow. ICEHOTEL is created in a new guise every winter, completely made out of natural ice from Torne River, one of Sweden’s national rivers and last untouched waters. When the winter season’s ICEHOTEL has melted back into the river in the spring, a part of the hotel remains; a place where visitors can experience the ice and snow year-round.
Eriksberg Hotel & Nature Reserve has created a unique destination with its nature reserve, which is a part of UNESCO’s biosphere area, Blekinge County’s archipelago. Within the protected landscape, it is the wild animals that care for and shape the nature and make it possible for the nature and animals’ gene bank in the area. The nature reserve creates a Freedom Forest for both humans and wild animals in the archipelago.