By Melissa Locker
September 16, 2015
North the Nordic Food Festival
Credit: Courtesy of North the Nordic Food Festival

Scoring a reservation at Denmark’s Noma or Sweden’s Faviken is a challenge even the well-connected have struggle with. Luckily for those hankering for a taste of Nordic cuisine (and no, Ikea meatballs don’t count), there is an option open to all: North, the Nordic Food Festival.

From September 23-28, chefs from Finland, Sweden, Denmark, and Iceland are gathering in New York City for the third annual showcase.

Thursday is Sweden’s day in the culinary spotlight. On the menu: chocolate-making classes with Sweden’s master chocolatier Hakan Martensson and a Swedish crayfish party. It’s all topped off with a pop-up version of Stockholm’s Michelin starred Restaurant Volt, featuring a menu of traditional ingredients like Fish and Elderflower, Milk and Birch, and something called Candied Herb Stalks.

On Friday, Finland is hosting a two-part party, starting with a daytime street food feast hosted by Helsinki chef and restaurateur Richard McCormick, followed by a pop-up dinner by Chef Kari Aihinen, who usually minds the kitchen at Helsinki restaurant Savoy.

Saturday stars Chef Thrainn Freyr Vigfusson who has flown in from his famed LAVA restaurant (it’s in the Blue Lagoon!) to take diners on a tour of Iceland via brunch and dinner. His menu includes items like Skyr (Icelandic yogurt) with wild Icelandic blueberries and traditional Icelandic cod stew (that’s ‘’plokkfiskur‘’ in the native tongue) served with geothermal cooked rye bread.

Denmark holds the reins on Sunday with offerings like a daytime party with Danish hot dogs and beer, which probably pair just as well with cheering for Denmark’s soccer teams as watching American baseball. The evening is capped with a family style Sunday dinner courtesy of two-time Masterchef winner Timm Vladimir who promises to deliver modern twists on traditional food like Danish Pork Roast with Crispy Crackling and Scallops with Puffed Rice.

The festival’s closing dinner is lead by three men responsible for helping popularize new Nordic cuisine in New York City—Fredrik Berselius, the founder of the Michelin starred ASKA; Mads Refslund from ACME (and the co-founder of Noma); and Daniel Burns, of the Michelin starred Luksus.

The festival is headquartered in Manhattan’s West Village, which means, for many New Yorkers, this festival is closer than the nearest Ikea.