The sound of tires on gravel ground. A car door slams, followed by footsteps. Karin Visth (28) has arrived in our village, she is visiting, and she tells me joyfully that she is celebrating a special jubilee. Exactly two years ago, she began work as a sommelière at the Faroese gourmet restaurant KOKS, which recently has been awarded as „Best Restaurant in the Nordic Countries“ by the Nordic Prize. What a great success for the whole team.
Swiss-born Karin Visth started her career as a cook with famous Chrüter Oski at restaurant Moospinte in Wiggiswil, Bern. Even as a child she had been interested in all kinds of flavors, in turning berries into compote, baking pies, tasting herbs and fruit, and cooking. „When I was ten years old, my godfather sent me an octopus by mail, along with a recipe. I still remember preparing that dish, together with my father.“
Later, Karin worked in Norway, she graduated at the top of her class from the Hotel Management School Zürich, moved to Denmark and attended Vinakademiet. A food critic told her about KOKS, and that they were looking for a sommelier. The name KOKS is related to an old Faroese word which means something like „doing the unexpected“ or taking care of somebody in a flirty, charming way. Who could resist an offer like this. Karin packed her things and moved to Tórshavn.
„I fell in love with Faroe Islands right away“, she says. At the gourmet restaurant, Karin is the Queen of wines: 416 varieties make up a well-stocked wine cellar. Her top three: La Mailloche (Chardonnay) – together with langoustine, that gets freshly smoked at the table. Barolo „Bric dël Fiasc” (Piemonte, Nebbiolo grape, Paolo Scavino). And Sercial 1999, Madeira made by Oliveira – served with fried and glazed halibut liver and gooseberries.
Karin also started to manufacture handmade juices, not only made out of gooseberries, but also elderflowers, rhubarb, red currant and black currant. About KOKS she says: „It’s my work, but, at the same time, passion and pleasure. I like being in touch with our guests, whether they are businessmen, local farmers or travelers.“ Again and again, hardcore foodies from the US or Asian countries fly in for just one night, in order to experience KOKS’s overall concept.
Two years ago, Karin arrived on Faroe Islands. Her first meal at KOKS, she expected to be freshly caught langoustine. Her new colleagues obviously had other plans – and a good sense of humor. Karin got served fermented cod, together with the local delicacy garnatálg, which is fermented fat, gained from lamb guts: „Let me put it this way. I was taken utterly by surprise.“ Meanwhile, Karin knows all about traditional Faroese dishes and all the tastes. My prognosis: She will stay. Because Karin doesn’t only like Faroe Islands, the KOKS, and her teammates. She also has fallen in love – with a Faroese cook. Life writes the best stories.