I was at a really cool lunch yesterday, with fellow food bloggers Pia and Kari. It was hosted by Norwegian akvavit producer Arcus, and since it was May 17 - Norway's big day of celebration - it was very festive. And coolest of all, they had flown in culinary superstar Geir Skeie to cook the food.
Geir is 30 years old, and has already won Bocuse d'Or. (And Bocuse d'Or Europe, too.) He's very innovative and creative - and pretty cute, too.
The food was paired with Linie Akvavit, a special akvavit that has been aged in caskets aboard a ship for four months. I don't particularly care for the alcohol, but the food was certainly interesting. The first course was a cured salmon, with asparagus, asparagus cream, various types of roe, and jerusalem artichoke omelet. Each element (except for the smokey roe) was nice, but I found it disharmonious. And, oddly, a bit too rich.
Second, a piece of halibut seasoned with caraway, on top of choucroute, pig's knuckle and white asparagus. Again, each element was great, but as a whole, it was my least favorite dish. My halibut was a bit undercooked and the caraway... well, no, not really.
Third, a gorgeous piece of duck, with a divine orange-sweet potato purée, mushrooms, spinach and onion. I loved it, and would have licked the plate if nobody was watching.
And the dessert. Ok, you can't really go wrong with rhubarb-strawberries-white chocolate, but this was divine. White chocolate panna cotta with basil, on a rhubarb sorbet, in a rhubarb-strawberry soup (or just melted sorbet, perhaps?), with strawberry ice cream. Very clean flavors, and a great combo. The basil didn't add much though.
All in all, a lovely lunch and I feel very blessed that I got to attend!