WATCH: Michelin-Starred Chef Ragnar Eiriksson Brings the Icelandic Heartland to Reykjavik in “You Are Here”
The head chef at DILL is our guide in the latest episode of our video series touring the cities that inspire the world.
As a young chef enamored with the New Nordic trends taking root in Copenhagen, Ragnar Eiriksson fled his home country and embraced the Continental life, working under Paul Cunningham at the revered The Paul, riding a bike around town, and generally forgetting that he’d ever lived on an island in the middle of the North Atlantic. But then love drew him home. He returned to Iceland several years ago to be with his partner, and he brought the skills he’d sharpened at The Paul with him to DILL in downtown Reykjavik. When owner and founding chef Gunnar Karl Gislason decamped to New York, Eiriksson took up his mantle, and suddenly he was the best chef at the best restaurant in a country that was steadily climbing out of a recession and rediscovering its sense of self.
Following New Nordic orthodoxy, DILL works with what’s in season in Iceland—which, for most of the year, isn’t all that much—and the love that Eiriksson has for the land and the people who work it is apparent both in his demeanor and in his food. For the latest episode of “You Are Here,” he showed us how he and his team have not only managed to work with their homeland’s natural limits, but also how they’ve used them to their advantage, with unexpected juxtapositions turning simple ingredients into dishes so surprising and sublime that this February, DILL became the first restaurant in Iceland to win a coveted Michelin star.