National Geographic filmed at Isfjord Radio

National Geographic filming Isfjord Radio
Photo: Kristen Kish

We have had visits from Kristen Kish and National Geographic! The fantastic episode from Isfjord Radio and Svalbard can be seen on Disney+ and National Geographic.

– Traveling to Svalbard, by far the most remote destination I have ever visited, was literally wild. Already in Longyearbyen came the feeling of being on another planet, says Kristen Kish.

– The boat trip out to Isfjord Radio was a lovely encounter with the mighty nature, but I quickly realized that it can present dangers. The first thing that met me at Isfjord Radio was the guide who handed me a signal gun that I had to learn to use. We canceled a dive because of polar bears, but I didn’t have to use the gun.

Together with Rogier Jansen, head chef at Isfjord Radio Adventure Hotel, Kristen caught and refined arctic ingredients for over a week. Well documented by a film team of 25 people from National Geographic, for a new series: Restaurants at the End of the World.

Photo: National Geographic / Missy Bania

– Nature is completely unpredictable, and cannot be planned into either experiences or film production. In an encounter with polar bears, walruses and the harsh arctic wilderness, I felt an intense awe at being completely close to the elements of nature, says Kristen Kish.

Kristen Kish is known for her own restaurant concept, cookery book publications and not least as the winner of Top Chef US in 2012. In National Geographic’s new series, she visits chefs who have specialized in making full use of local ingredients, based on the restaurants’ location far off the beaten track. Isfjord Radio is the most remote location in the series.

– Rogier has a professional standard that I value as a chef, and he is fearless in the kitchen. Homemade kimchi in passion fruit sorbet? Ptarmigan as a flavoring agent in the drink? I got the kimchi in sorbet wrong, it was lovely. But ptarmigan in genever became too strange, believes Kristen.

Rogier Jansen has been head chef at Isfjord Radio for two years, and sources most of the ingredients from two trapper stations on Svalbard. In addition, Rogier puts on a diving suit and looks for edible ingredients in the sea, or he fishes for arctic char in the Linnévannet, which is a short walk from the station.

The chefs’ play and refinement with Arctic ingredients is presented in the series to selected guests, with the goal of recognition from Brita Knutsen Dahl, who is responsible for developing the food concept at Isfjord Radio.

– Each and every guest should be surprised by the variety and standard of the food at our outpost in the west. Kristen and Rogier surprised me, including home-fished Arctic char and a very special drink with ptarmigan, says Brita Knutsen Dahl.

Photo: Kristen Kish

Kristen and Rogier’s play with the Arctic raw materials can be seen in a scenic episode on National Geographic and Disney+.


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