Gaggenau: Given the remote nature of the island, what challenges do you face?
PAZ: We don’t have a strong culture of growing vegetables, but that’s something that’s changing. The short season here is a real challenge, so we have to preserve a lot of things, which adds an extra dimension to our cooking but can also be quite limiting. Traditionally, the four vegetables grown here were turnips, swede, potatoes and rhubarb. But now people are growing garlic, leeks, onions, parsnips, radish, lettuce, salads and kale.
Gaggenau: But at least you’re never short of fresh fish, right?
PAZ: Ironically when we first opened the restaurant, we couldn’t get hold of fresh fish because it was all being exported. Luckily, that’s not the case anymore. About 10 years ago there were very few restaurants and the food you ate was usually caught by you or your friends, but now the restaurant scene has developed, so there’s a market for it.
Gaggenau: What’s the ethos behind KOKS?
PAZ: It’s a space to showcase the raw materials that we have on the island and to celebrate our culture and food traditions in a way that’s presentable. My cooking is fairly simple, without being too ‘natural’. You need some technique and personality behind your cooking.
Gaggenau: Does the look of restaurant reflect the Faraoese traditions?
PAZ: It’s a modern house but with traditional lines and a grass roof, and it’s very cosy. We asked a musician to make a soundscape by recording noises from around the Faroe Islands, such as birds tweeting or a ferry coming into the harbour. The plates we use are made by ceramists inspired by the nature around us. But we’re actually moving from this space at the end of the year.