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Reykjavik, Iceland

Writer Valur Gunnarsson answered your travel questions on Tuesday, February 8, 2005 at noon ET

The center of the Universe will always be where you started exploring the world from, and for me that place will always be Reykjavik, Iceland. I remember adding first, streets and then blocks and finally entire neighborhoods to my world view as I grew up month by month. It seemed huge then. And although we've both grown, it doesn't seem as huge now, as the view from Hallgrímskirkja church will attest to. It can be explored fairly well in the space of a weekend, at least compared to most capitals. But every journey of exploration must have a starting point, so feel free to ask me anything you might want to know about my city. My hometown. My center of the Universe.

Valur answered your questions Tuesday, February 8, at 12pm EST.

Valur Gunnarsson was born in Reykjavik in 1976 and grew up there, in Britain and in Norway. He graduated from Secondary school in 1996, and held a number of jobs, such as shipcleaner in Finland, furniture salesman in Norway, doorman in Scotland, and working in an orphanage in Iceland, before completing a degree in History at the University of Iceland in 2002. From there he went to Queens University Belfast to get an MA degree in writing. Upon completion he returned to Iceland and has since then been working as a journalist, first as an arts correspondent for the daily DV and then editing his own paper, the English language Reykjavik Grapevine.

He has released two albums of music, one a collection of Leonard Cohen songs in Icelandic, the other an album of originals with rock band Ríkið, and a volume of poetry in English entitled "A Fool for Believing"). The Reykjavik Grapevine is available online at grapevine.is/.


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Towson, MD: Hi Valur, Can you give me some details about the Food & Fun Festival? I know it is a relatively new event and it's very hard to get information about it to plan ahead, thus I will not make it as I had hoped this year.

Valur Gunnarsson: Hi.
My name is Valur Gunnarsson and I am the editor of Iceland's English language newspaper The Reykjavik Grapevine, which comes out once a month in the winter and twice a month in the summer. I will attempt to answer all your questions here, for further information please contact editor@grapevine.is
We are actually featuring the Food and Fun Festival in the next issue, which will be online on February 11th at htapevine.is/. The article is as follows, I hope you'll be able to make it.

Food is the New Rock n' roll

By Ölvir Gíslason and Kjartan Guðmundsson

Music is dead - food is the new rock'nroll. Forget Airwaves and its assortment of pretentious wannabes, drunk freeloading journalists and hangers-on: The fourth annual Food and Fun festival is ahead. From February 16-20, twelve acclaimed chefs, six from Europe and six from the United States, will work their gastronomical magic at twelve of Reykjavík's 'inest restaurants: Apótek, Argentína, Einar Ben, 3 Frakkar, The Gallery Restaurant, The Grill, La Primavera, The Pearl, The Rauðará Steakhouse, The Seafood Cellar, Siggi Hall at Óðinsvéum and Vox. The chefs will primarily cook using Icelandic ingredients, mainly seafood and lamb but also from more unusual ingredients, such as the uniquely Icelandic "skyr". The festival reaches its climax in the chef competition, which takes place on the last day. The competing chefs get an half hour each to shop for Icelandic ingredients and three hours to prepare three meals: One fish course, one meat course and a dessert. "Ev"rybody's got a hungry heart according Bruce Springsteen, at the Food and Fun festival, at least you'll'have a full belly. Watch out for a full report in the next issue.

ICELAND FOOD & FUN FESTIVAL
REYKJAVíK, ICELAND
February 16-20, 2005 http://www.foodandfun.is/Wednesday, February 16

 

  • 5pm: Press conference for Icelandic media at Nordica Hotel (To be conf.)
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  • 6pm: Restaurants open for the first night of Food and Fun'. Chefs stay at restaurant for appr. 3 hours mostly to mingle with guests and explain dishes.
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  • 5pm: News conference (for international media) at Reykjavík City Hall, followed by a reception hosted by the Mayor of Reykjavík.
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  • 6pm: Restaurants open for the second night of Food and Fun'. Chefs stay at restaurant for appr. 3 hours mostly to mingle with guests and explain dishes.
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