MATEY Seafood Fest Serves Up the Best of the Westman Islands

A new festival seeks to celebrate the produce and producers of Iceland’s Westman Islands. The MATEY Seafood Festival is a collaborative project between the island’s restaurateurs and food producers and will take place from September 8-10.

Restaurants, fish factories, food producers and other food industry service partners collaborate to highlight the food of the islands. With the MATEY festival, islanders hope to spotlight “one of the best culinary destinations in Iceland,” and give guests a taste of “a variety of stunning dishes” that are made solely with ingredients sourced in and around the Westmans. Leading chefs from neighbouring Nordic nations will also take part in the festival, offering their own twists on “authentic local dishes.”

Restaurants Gott, Slippurinn, Einsi Kaldi, and Næs will host menus from guest chefs Chris Golding, Leif Sørensen, Ron McKinlay, and Fjölla Sheholli and Junaid Juman, respectively, serving up local ingredients.

In addition to serving up local cuisine in Heimaey’s restaurants, the festival will also feature events in which businesses in seafood industry open their doors, give some insight into their operations, and discuss the “blue economy” that is so vital to the Westmans’ way of life.

Respecting Mother Earth

Eygló and Eymundur in Vallanes

Iceland famously has almost no forests. In most places that is. In the east of Iceland, you could almost imagine that you’re in another climate, especially if you visit Vallanes farm. On the farm, run by Eymundur Magnússon and his wife Eygló Björk Ólafsdóttir, mature forests meet fields of organic barley, rapeseed, salad greens, and other vegetables. It’s one of the first organic farms in Iceland and not a lot of people believed in Eymundur’s vision when he first abandoned the more traditional dairy farming.

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