With Musk On The Menu
This is salted and smoked muskox thigh,” he says and points on a plate made of stone decorated with meat and green sides. Knut Nyhus is having a quick glance over the starters. “Muskox is considered to be one of the hotels specialties,” he says. “Since we don’t have unlimited access to the meat we are usually serving it as Carpaccio, sausages, pâtés or small starters.”
“This looks really good, doesn’t it?” he raises his voice and looks at the Head Chef. “Yes, indeed it does,” Vilhjalmur Axelsson, the Icelandic Chef, replies. The kitchen has been occupied for almost a week organizing the food. “I like him, he’s not the dangerous type such as Gordon Ramsay for example,” Nyhus says and bursts into laughter. Tonight they are having birthday guests for dinner at the hotel, and a 5-course menu is ready to be served. “Everything is local and made from scratch,” Nyhus says.
Food and wine are the priority items for Ellen and Knut Nyhus, who operate Kongsvold Fjeldstue. Their food philosophy is built on four principles: honest food, clean taste, short-travelled and local specialties. To be more specific, we are talking about lamb from the adjacent area, caribou from the only herd of wild reindeer that belongs to the Dovre Mountain plateau, trout from the mountain lakes, rhubarb and angelica from the kitchen garden of 900-meter elevation, and the musk ox, which contributes to the special curiosity among their guests.
Kongsvold Fjeldstue traditions dates back to the 1100s, and was visited by several kings. In 1704, the joint Danish/Norwegian King Fredrick IV named the place ‘Kongsvold’, and the name still stands today. ”The very first meal in this dining room was served in the year 1720, and it has been served food here every year since,” Nyhus says.
“The very first meal was served in this dining room in the year 1720, and it has been served food here every year since”
In January 2014, Nyhus went to visit the Internationale Grüne Woche in Berlin to promote their food to the 500,000 visitors attending the world’s largest food fair. In his travel bag: musk sausage and a stuffed musk head. “I sold all the sausages I brought to the fair. They became very popular,” Nyhus says. “It is always a good experience to promote the food and the hotel internationally,” he says. “I am glad the media is covering the local trend as well, we have already been featured with four pages in VG, and a German television channel will visit us this summer,” he says proudly.
The majestic muskox can be seen wandering at the snow-clad Dovre Mountains, under the typical ice-blue Norwegian winter sky. Just remember to keep a 200-meter distance according to the guide Haakon Bolstad.
“We compile the menu mainly based on our own ideas, but we are of course influenced by proposals from our guests,” Nyhus says.
“The menu is based on what can be provided during the different seasons, but we can still offer daily variations.”
The turnover last year was very pleasing, and much of that is due to the general trend in favor of local food, good publicity and attention from politicians like the County Mayor and other.
“It is basically a French cuisine with an Scandinavian twist”
Vilhjalmur Axelsson, who has been working there for four years, opens the oven where the main course of the evening is being prepared. “I used 4 days to prepare this meat, it’s quite a process,” he says, “It is going to be a beautiful pink color inside. A medium rare.”
What makes this hotel menu unique?
“It’s me!” he says and starts laughing. “It’s basically a French cuisine, with a Scandinavian twist. They love the local stuff,” he says.
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