It took three flights, a ride in a Leonardo AW139 model helicopter and a short (but tortuous) journey in a powerful 4×4. Get to KOKSrestaurant with two Michelin stars in the remote Faroe Islands, was hard. But sitting there in the former farmhouse that today has become the lounge and kitchen led by chef Poul Andrias Ziska in an isolated landscape, surrounded by a crystal clear lake and surrounded by a verdant valley where chickens and sheep roam, it was all worth it. the pity.
Of course, Ziska’s food, creative and well-prepared, focused on local ingredients, such as lamb and the many herbs that grow in the surroundings, helps to justify the effort to be there. But the difficulty of getting there — and the consequent reward of the landscape — is probably what drives thousands of people to the KOKS every year. In an archipelago with less than 50,000 inhabitants, what explains why a restaurant installed there becomes a gastronomic destination capable of justifying so much effort?
That’s right: in the world of gastronomy, we live in a time of “the further away, the better”. If previously difficult-to-access destinations already aroused greater interest because they were more costly to explore and represented a more valuable challenge in the world gastronomic race, the pandemic has exacerbated this feeling. Out-of-the-way places gained new prominence on the global stage. Below, some that are worth the visit — and the effort to make it happen.
MIL (Moray, Sacred Valley, Peru)
How to get: flight to Cusco and then a car or van for an hour and a half through the valleys of the Andes. The roads aren’t great, but the view makes up for it.
The location of THOUSAND in from Moray, surrounded by the Andes Mountains, is already an attraction in itself. The restaurant by chefs Pía León and Virgilio Martínez (from Centralin lime) was erected in a preserved Inca archaeological complex at 3,500 meters of altitude with its famous round terraces, the “muyus”, where original peoples could take advantage of the different microclimates for their agricultural experiments over the centuries. The different parts of the terraced land can have temperature variations that reach 15ºC — it is there that the team manages two hectares for the strengthening of seeds and the rescue of ancient species.
The ingredients served there, by the way, come from research and work done with the local communities, to bring visitors not only the products, but the techniques used by the Incas. One of the dishes, for example, includes Andean potatoes that are baked in a small edible clay oven known as huatia in Quechua and which, taken to the fire, is capable of extracting all the sweetness and flavor of the tubers with the ashes and the heat of the ember that warms the ground.
From the famous Maras salt to the chocolate made with the extremely rare variety of chuncho cocoa (the space also houses a small chocolate shop), the techniques developed in the recipes served to visitors are inspired by knowledge passed down from generation to generation among the people of the mountains. With the many plants that grow at this altitude, infusions and cocktails are also made to accompany the excellent menu, which is only served at lunch, so that visitors can enjoy the view in daylight.
Hisa Franko (Kobarid, Soča Valley, Slovenia)
How to get: flight to Venice (Italy) or Ljubljana Slovenia), and from there an hour’s drive on good roads.
It takes almost 30 minutes to travel along the perfect roads from the border of Italy to reach the restaurant surrounded by the green valleys of the idyllic crystalline region soca riverat Slovenia