A Michelin-starred restaurant that serves unique dishes to its customers in the far north of the world

A visitor to Michelin-starred chef Paul Andreas Ziska can only reach his destination by boat or helicopter, but the owner of the remote Greenland restaurant hopes his visit will be worth it. distance.

In mid-June, the 30-year-old relocated his restaurant Cox from the Faroe Islands, abandoning a relatively accessible location to Iliminak, a small area of ​​50 people located behind icebergs at latitude 69N.

The restaurant was set up in a narrow black wooden house, one of the oldest houses in Greenland, and accommodates only about 20 people per serving, while its dishes use local products including whale and seaweed as well as fresh produce that is almost impossible to find in an area where the harsh climate prevails. .

"We are trying to focus on as many products as possible from Greenland, so all the ingredients are from this region, from halibut to cynosites crab, musk ox and puma, as well as many types of herbs and berries," the bearded chef with shaggy hair told AFP.

The young chef previously ran "Cox" from the remote Faroe Islands from which he hails, where he won his first Michelin star in 2017, then the second in 2019, as well as the title of the world's most isolated Michelin-starred restaurant.

As he plans to return to the Faroe Islands and reside there permanently, he indicates a long-held desire to expand his work to another region in the far north of the earth, such as Iceland, Greenland or Svalbard.

He chose Ilimanak, which is located an hour by boat from Ilulissat, the third largest city in Greenland and famous for its huge glacier.

"We saw that serving food in a different way before we went back to our main restaurant would be a more convenient and enjoyable step," he tells AFP from his trailer-mounted kitchen outside the house, alongside a dining area.

The tasting menu includes 20 dishes that customers can enjoy for about 2,100 crowns ($280), which does not include drinks.

"The menu is amazing as it takes you further north, from whale bites to wine, from fresh fish and shellfish to carefully prepared desserts, everything it offers is full of flavour," David Gualandres, a visitor to the restaurant, told AFP.

Although whale meat is the staple food in Greenland and the Faroe Islands, hunting for these animals is banned in most parts of the world and its opponents are calling for an end to it.

An exotic location for a fine dining restaurant, Willimanak is home to a small community whose children live in picturesque wooden houses next to walking paths and a luxury hotel, making the restaurant an ideal hangout for wealthy tourists who want to explore new territories.

For Ziska, customers are different in Greenland.

"There are many tourists who aspire to visit Greenland as a priority and then go to the restaurant by the way," he says, adding that "tourists in the Faroe Islands were mainly interested in visiting the restaurant and then, of course, touring the islands."

The Greenland Tourism Authority hopes the restaurant will attract gastronomy and gastronomical tourists as well as adventurous people who have previously been drawn to the Arctic landscape.

Announcing the opening of Cox in Greenland, Heurtor Smarason, Director of Visit Greenland, said, "The unique blend of high-class gastronomy and sustainability inherent in North Atlantic cuisine and Disco Bay's unique nature and resources touch all of our senses."

While Greenland, an Arctic island nine times the size of the United Kingdom, was a forgotten tourist destination, in 2019 it received 100,000 tourists, nearly twice its population, before these numbers declined due to the pandemic.

Having Cox's in the area "is exactly what we strive for in our efforts to attract a special kind of tourist," Samarason notes. 

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