A huge portion of world-class food
A real adventurer! Curious, experimental and dedicated. You can expect a surprising meal when Rogier Jansen (29) conjures up the ingredients in the kitchen at Isfjord Radio Adventure Hotel.
– I am focusing on slow eating, where the food is the base for good and close experiences. The combination of flavors and ingredients is often surprising, and it gives guests a more conscious relationship to what they eat, Rogier explains.
In February 2021, the Dutchman boarded the snowmobile with a course towards our iconic hotel on Kapp Linné. With, among other things, adventurous experience in the luggage. Rogier began his cooking career at a restaurant in New Zealand, where he was picked up from the dishes to the kitchen counter. Self-taught, but never outlearned, he says.
– I am always curious to try out new ingredients, methods and combinations when I work. At Isfjord Radio, we focus on the local ingredients, which include some of the best proteins I have processed. Svalbard reindeer live in harsh environments, but are an incredibly delicate raw material, says the chef.
Rogier Jansen was born and raised in flat, hectic Amsterdam. He has always gathered family and friends for good meals at home, but he learned the refined cuisine as a chef at restaurants in the Dutch city.
An experiment with nature
There is a high degree of innovation at the restaurants in Amsterdam, in addition to strong influence from international food cultures. An exciting environment for a curious chef, but also hectic. Rogier met Isfjord Radio’s former head chef, Simon Liestøl Idsø, in Amsterdam, and was lured to Svalbard. It is no less hectic in the kitchen at Isfjord Radio when Rogier conjures, but before and after working hours it is the silence of nature that lowers the pulse of the super chef.
Together with the retired sled dog Jøkul (11 years old and from Basecamp Explorer’s Trappers Station), Rogier explores the nature of Svalbard. Always curious if he can bring a new ingredient home to Isfjord Radio. The sea in particular has an undiscovered potential that he will dive into. Literally.
– Now I will experiment with what grows and lives along the coast of Kapp Linné, and will test more use of seaweed and shells from the Arctic Ocean, says curious Rogier.
Less stress while eating
There are long working days when experimenting and cooking in the kitchen of the former radio station, but Rogier has ideas and a willingness to further develop and refine the local ingredients. He has built a small, new smokehouse and will further develop the herb garden with micro-cultivation at Isfjord Radio.
– Food is absolutely essential for and in life itself, and I am opposed to fast food that eaten in a rush. Food should be prepared and eaten without stress. In Latin cultures, meals can last for 5-6 hours, and the food is the basis for the experiences that are shared around the table, Rogier explains.
– The most important thing I do as a Chef is to make sure that the meals at Isfjord Radio are remembered as an Arctic adventure – wild, beautiful, surprising and exotic!
All photos: Ragnhild Utne