"Want to put the Westman Islands on the Culinary map"

The Food Festival Mat­ey starts today in the Westman Islands and ends next Saturday and there will be a big seafood feast in the islands. The Westman Islands already house some of the best restaurants in the country and more people are making a point of going there to have a culinary adventure in the great setting of the islands. The Westman Islands were nominated to the nordic Embla awards as The best culinary destination in Scandinavia.

Michelin star awarded guests chefs

This year there will be exciting guest chefs visiting for the festival and there the famous chef Leif Sörensen comes first, but he is the man behind the Michelin restaurant KOKS in the Faroe Islands. Sörensen will be a guest chef in Slippurinn , where Gísli Matthías Auðunsson will work with him, but they know each other well from the business.

"Me and Leif are great friends and we have done a lot of things together through the years and have had a few pop-up restaurants together. He has, however, never been to the Westman Islands, and I thought now was the perfect time to get him to visit, since he is one of the great entrepreneurs in the Nordic Cuisine,"says Auðunsson, and it will for sure be very interesting to see and taste their culinary creations during these three days.

Gísli Matthías Auðunsson is one of the people behind the …

Gísli Matthías Auðunsson is one of the people behind the Food Festival Matey in the Westman Islands that starts today, but he runs two restaurants, Slippurinn and Næs. mbl.is/Kristinn Magnússon

"We somehow get each other, maybe it is because the nature in the Faroe Islands is quite similar to our surroundings here in the Westman Islands. We also see eye to eye in the business, and are both fans of clean flavours and we want the presentation of our food to be as simple as possible. Leif is the master of using few ingredients while creating amazing culinary experiences," Auðunsson says, but everything is booking fast for the festival.

All hands on deck

Auðunsson says the festival is very important for both tourists companies and food producers in the Westman Islands. "We want to put the Westman Islands on the culinary map as the most exciting place for food enthusiasts to visit in Iceland. We cannot do that unless we all work together and make that happen.We have here both big and small food producers who are part of this festival and in the restaurants we want to showcase our own local produce. It is also great to get the guest chefs to work with out fresh material and get their vision of what opportunities they provide, both in the fresh materials that we deem ordinary or exotic. It will be great to get chefs with a different background and a different vision to make something that has not been made before."

The restaurants participating in the Festival are Gott , Slippurinn , Einsi Kaldi and Næs who will have special menus for the festival. Furthermore, there will be special Festival dishes offered at Tanginn , Kráin , Pítsugerðin , Canton and Brothers .

Never a dull moment

Auðunsson is a busy man himself. "There is always a lot to do, but now all my focus is on what I am doing with my family in the restaurant business. We are both running Slippurinn and our new restaurant Næs which has had a great start this summer. Slippurinn is only open for the summer and will close after next Saturday, but Næs will be open all year around. It truly is a privilege to have the opportunity to continue running your own restaurant where no two days are the same."

The Westman Islands.

The Westman Islands. Photo/Sigurður Bogi Sævarsson

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