Bearded seal, ringed seal, arctic char and cod from the ice cold sea. Reindeer, ptarmigan and geese from the modest tundra and the sharp mountains. Hunting and trapping on Spitsbergen dates back to the 16th century. Even today there are three professional trappers overwintering on the island.
One of these trappers, Tommy Sandal, is using traditional trapping methods for ecological and sustainability reasons. His trapping station is located on the island Akseløya in Bellsund area, which is one of the nearest neighboor to Isfjord Radio Adventure Hotel. Our close collaboration with Tommy Sandal is ensuring a sustainable food source and local ingredients on our menu throughout the seasons.
Head Chef Simon Liestøl Idsø has since 2017 been in charge of the kitchen at Isfjord Radio Adventure Hotel. With his long history of creative cooking combined with his passion for arctic regions, he creates menus with pure flavours and untraditional combinations.
Our menus are strongly affected of old and almost forgotten preserving techniques. Like the original residents of the outpost, we need to preserver the exclusive ingredients during the dark season months. Salting, curing, dry aging, smoking, drying, pickling and fermenting to mention few. Most of these techniques are to be found in our grandmothers handwritten recipe books, and used earlier on outposts to secure enough provisions over the winter months.
August and September are the main months for hunting, fishing and foraging. For the Isfjord Radio Kitchen, this is the most hectic and fun time of the year where our food storages are being stocked with everything from pickled vegetables and dried seaweed to fermented game and cured fish.
During these months we are extending our working hours for some outdoor activities. In the morning and evening hours the kitchen staff can abandon the stove and head to the tundra to harvest mushrooms, walk the shoreline picking edible delicacies and head to the sea for some deep-water fishing. In our new renovated storehouse, we are preserving hams, cured meat and sausages and maturing and tenderizing game meat. Working with these tecniques, the produce will last longer and nonetheless enhance the quality.
The growing season on Svalbard is very short and there are limited variables to the local fauna. Thus, our remote boutique hotel simply cant survive exclusively on local ingredients. Therefore our chefs are combining their food philosophy with grocery deliveries from the mainland every half a year. Good dialogues with handpicked fishermen and farmers in Norway gives us stable supply of prime ingredients throughout the seasons.
When staying at Isfjord Radio Adventure Hotel, we aim to promote the arctic nature. At the morning we are serving a traditional Nordic breakfast buffet. Our lunch serving is based on Norwegian home cooking in an historic, yet relaxed environment. In the evening, we are gathering around the dinner table – a real gem of the Isfjord Radio experience. For the dinner we have created a larger menu with several servings, combining the arctic tastes and a customized beverage pairing. Our kitchen and service staff look forward giving you a unique dining experience in the Arctic wilderness.
Welcome home, to your home far away from home.
This 1933 built solitude outpost for radio operators doesn’t look like much from the outside, but as you enter you’ll discover a different world. The contrast between the rough landscape and the modern hotel is a sight to behold.