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The Gallery Restaurant Recipes – Reykjavik, Iceland

by Debra C. Argen
Chef Fridgeir I. Eiríksson
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Chef Fridgeir I. EiríkssonChef Fridgeir I. Eiríksson of The Gallery Restaurant in Reykjavik, Iceland shares what it is like to compete at the Bocuse d'Or 2007 and also provides a tantalizing recipe.



When Fridgeir I. Eiríksson was growing up, he wanted to be a musician. His entry into the kitchen was purely a means to an end, to earn money for his band where he was a guitarist and a singer. It is ironic sometimes the way that a road may lead us away from our original goal to a different and often more significant path.

He started his culinary apprenticeship at Lea Linster's Restaurant (Bocuse d'Or 1989) in Luxemburg in 1998. He returned to Iceland in 1999 and worked at The Gallery Restaurant where he was the Second Chef (to Ragnar Ómarsson, Iceland's Candidate who received 5th place at the Bocuse d'Or 2005), and was selected Commis of the Year. In 2000, he was the Icelandic Candidate at the Nordic Commis Competition. 2001 was a busy year for him; he received his culinary diploma and was Hákon Már Örvarsson's Commis (Bocuse de Bronze 2001), where he was selected as the Commis of the Competition, and worked at The Gallery Restaurant until 2002. He left for France in 2002 to work at Philippe Girardon's Michelin-star restaurant, Domaine de Clairefontaine, (Meilleur Ouvrier de France 1997), as Chef de Partie, and was promoted to Second Chef de Cuisine in 2004. In January 2007, he was the Icelandic Candidate at the Bocuse d'Or 2007. In April 2007, at age 28 years, he came full circle when he returned to The Gallery Restaurant in Reykjavik as the Executive Chef and business partner, which certainly made his father, Eiríkur Ingi Fridgeirsson, a chef by profession, and manager of the Hotel Hólt since 1986, proud.

I met with Chef Fridgeir I. Eiríksson in April 2007 when I was having dinner at The Gallery Restaurant, and enjoyed learning about his progression from potential rock star to talented chef. He said that when he went to France, it changed his life. "When you feel fish that is so fresh, it makes you smile." His philosophy is that you must "respect humanity, have courage, and then you can do the kitchen. When you have very fresh products and leave them in the cooler and do not use them, you are not respectful."

We also spoke about the Bocuse d'Or 2007, where 24 chefs representing 24 countries competed in this highly renowned, worldclass competition held every other year in Lyon, France. The Bocuse d'Or began in 1987 as a "Culinary Olympics" for young chefs who performed "live" in front of an audience to demonstrate the time and effort that goes into these creations. The competition was an immediate success. In addition to creating his menu, Chef Fridgeir I. Eiríksson had to prepare a presentation book, and he even designed the silver fish tray he used, which he created with a friend in a garage. Some people's creativity runs in many directions, and Fridgeir I. Eiríksson is definitely one of them. Congratulations to Chef Fridgeir I. Eiríksson and his Icelandic Team at Bocuse d'Or 2007, which included: Sturla Burgisson, President of the jury for Iceland; Viktor Orn Andresson, Assistant to Fridgeir I. Eiríksson; Philippe Girardon (Chef/Owner Domaine de Clairefontaine), Julie Björk Gunnarsdóttir, Assistant, and Halldór Einar Guđbjartsson, Assistant.

His vision for The Gallery Restaurant is to change the menu monthly, work with the best quality products, and maybe make a little story for each month. The kitchen is Nordic, but since Icelanders are open to new ideas, it will provide him with lots of opportunity for creativity. His recipe for Tenderloin of Beef "Rossini"  with Glazed Root Vegetables and Madeira Sauce showcases his talent and his style.

Chef Fridgeir I. Eiríksson - Tenderloin of Beef Rossini

Tenderloin of Beef "Rossini" with Glazed Root Vegetables and Madeira Sauce
A recipe for 4 persons

*Note: This recipe requires advanced preparation to make.




Beef tenderloin



Escalopes of foie gras (35-40 grams each) (1.2-1.4 ounces each)





grams (3.5 ounces)

Bread crumbs


grams (3.5 ounces)



grams (3.5 ounces)




Large carrot



Slices of fresh truffles














liter (33.8 ounces)

Veal stock


ml (16.9 ounces)



dl (3.4 ounces)



grams (7 ounces)




Olive oil

Preparation of the beef: Pan-fry the foie gras and the beef. Put the truffles on top of the foie gras on the beef. Cook the spinach in boiling salted water, drain, let cool and dry the spinach, then place it on plastic wrap and roll the beef and the duck liver onto it. Let the roll remain in the refrigerator for a half day. Next, roll it in the beaten eggs and the breadcrumbs twice. Fry at 180° C (350° F) for 50 seconds.

Preparation of the sauce: Slice the shallot, garlic and the half of the carrot, and sauté in a pan with butter and olive oil, until they are lightly golden, and then add 400 ml (13.5 ounces) of the Madeira and simmer until the sauce is reduced to 150 ml (5 ounces). Next, mix in the veal stock and reduce again until you get a good consistancy, and finish with the rest of the Madeira, and salt and pepper to taste.

The Garnish: Slice the remaing half of the carrot and the celery root, and to a pot of water with butter and salt, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until the vegetables are shining and tender. Boil the potatoes and purée with butter and salt.

* Note: You can use the leftover celeryroot  by cooking it with the cream and making a puree.

With a litle bit of love, this should be a good dish. Happy Cooking!

Best regards,
Chef Fridgeir I. Eiríksson

The Gallery Restaurant is open daily for lunch from 12:00 pm – 2:30 pm, and for dinner from 6:00 pm – 10:30 pm. Read about The Gallery Restaurant in the Restaurants section.

The Gallery Restaurant
Hotel Hólt
Bergstadastraeti 37
101 Reykjavik, Iceland
Telephone:      +354-552-5700
Fax:                 +354-562-3025

Please other articles on Iceland in the Destinations, Hotels and Resorts, Restaurants, Chefs' Recipes, Spas, Fashion, and Adventures sections.

For information on Iceland, please visit the website: Icelandic Tourist Board: www.IcelandTouristBoard.com.

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