Saturday, November 12, 2011

New Scandinavian Cooking

One of our favorite shows on television is New Scandinavian Cooking, which airs locally on PBS’ Create.  And a new season with Andreas Viestad has just started up.

New Scandinavian Cooking showcases Scandinavia’s diverse culture and traditional cuisine in fresh, innovative ways.  And almost all the preparation and cooking are done outside in fantastically picturesque settings: small, charming coastal towns, remote islands, only accessible in summer, and even musk ox pastures in Greenland.  There are four different hosts: one each from Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Norway, but Andreas Viestad is our favorite.

Andreas was born in Norway, has traveled widely and now divides most of his time between Oslo and South Africa.  He writes food columns in Norway and for The Washington Post and has written several books, including Kitchen of Light.

Andreas is not a formally-trained chef, so his recipes tend to be simple with really clear instructions and basic ingredients.  We love his enthusiasm for the place, its heritage, the cooking process and the food itself.  Plus he has a goofy sense of humor.

In some ways, New Scandinavian Cooking is a completely different world from our own… we’ll probably never ski to ice fish above the Arctic Circle or whip up a berry smoothie, a la fresco, before a morning horseback ride, and we’ll probably never be invited to the home of famous Norwegian-French cognac producers.  But we love the show and often reference its website for ideas.  And who knows?  Maybe someday we will do all those things!

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