ÁRNI ÓLAFUR JÓNSSON is the guest editor of FÆÐA|FOOD 2019
Cooking and Icelandic cuisine have been on Árni Ólafur Jónsson’s mind for most of his life. He is well-known in his home country for his popular TV show „Hið blómlega bú“ (The Flourishing Farm) where he tells stories from the Icelandic countryside, weaving them together with interviews and recipes. Even at a young age, Árni was determined to become a chef but took a detour and studied business administration. After working in banking for a while, he decided to change course to follow his heart and enrolled at the French Culinary Institute in New York, now known as the International Culinary Center. When he finished his studies, Árni became an intern at the Whybrook Farm in Honey Brook, Pennsylvania, which was a great inspiration for him and fired his interest in sustainable farming. After that, he returned to New York and started working as a chef at the Park Avenue Restaurant.
When Árni met the couple Bryndís Geirsdóttir and Guðni Páll Sæmundsson by coincidence, life took a new turn. They offered him the chance to co-create a TV show with them about cooking, culinary traditions and farming. Árni decided to go for it and he moved to Árdalur in Borgarfjörður, where he started growing vegetables, learning and understanding more about Icelandic ingredients and produce. Before long, Árni was a regular presence on TV and a new series with Árni at the helm will be aired this December on Stöð 2, where the theme will be Advent and Christmas culinary traditions.