The annual celebration of all things Icelandic returns next week, October 12-15. Taste of Iceland is a sort of mini-festival at multiple venues, and includes visual arts, live music, inventive cuisine, film and design in a celebration of Icelandic ingenuity.
As in previous years, a Tom Douglas restaurant will host a top-notch Scandinavian chef. This year, Chef Viktor Örn Andrésson is co-creating a prix fixe menu with Chef Dezi Bonow at The Carlile Room (820 Pine Street). The four courses marry delicacies from land and sea, including langoustine served two ways (grilled and in a creamy soup), various cuts of lamb, and a dessert with fresh skyr. Skyr also figures into one of the five cocktails in the optional beverage pairing menu.
If you focus is more on the cocktails, don’t miss two events on Thursday, October 12. At The Gerald (5210 Ballard Ave NW), learn new drinks and techniques from master mixologists Kári Sigurðsson and Trevor Schneider. The class runs from 5-7pm. There is no fee and it is first-come, first-served. Get more info on the Facebook event page.
At 9pm, Sigurðsson will be at Liberty (517 15th Ave E) with its lead bartender, Brandon Paul Weaver, for a “Bar Takeover.” So if you can’t make it to the earlier class, you’ll still get a chance to try some unique craft cocktails centered on some of Iceland’s favorite spirits, Brennivín and Reyka Vodka. Get more info on the Facebook event page.
The biggest event of Taste of Iceland is always the free concert, Reykjavik Calling, co-presented with KEXP. This year, it will be at KEXP’s new HQ (472 1st Ave N) on Saturday, October 14, and features Mammút, Fufanu and CHARMS. Doors at 6pm, show starts at 7pm. Admission is free, but this event is ages 21+.
Before the concert, however, KEXP will be hosting their own all ages cultural fair, with a number of Icelandic artists, including painter Ólöf Björg, textile artist Linda Björk Eiríksdóttir, Katrína Mogensen of Mammút, and Hrafnkell Floki Kaktus Einarsson of Fufanu. You can also grab some product samplings from Icelandic companies. It’s free and open to the public in KEXP’s Gathering Space from 11am to 3pm.
On the final day of the festival, check out the Shortfish Short Film Festival at SIFF Film Center (305 E Harrison St) at 2pm. The 75 minute screening features six short films by up-and-coming Icelandic filmmakers. There are no age restrictions for attendees, but some films are not recommended for small children. As with all the other events, admission is free and first-come, first-served.
See the full list of events (including a laser show at the Pacific Science Center) on the official website.