Alberto Lozano makes the most of the Arctic larder

Carla Vidal


Seals, reindeer, white partridge, and cod, are the main ingredients in the world's northernmost restaurant.

Albacete-born Alberto Lozano commands the kitchens at Huset, an extraordinary restaurant in the heart of the Arctic, where he fights every day to get 100% of what his environment's scarce larder has to offer. As the chef warned at the beginning of his talk: "We are in a peculiar place, and that makes us do peculiar things that are outside the normal path of a chef, especially in terms of the product". Reindeer and seals share the spotlight in his menu, alongside some other more common ingredients, such as cod and partridge.

The harsh climatic conditions of the island where Huset is located, Svalbard (Norway), make it necessary to fully use the products, and it is with this in mind that the chef and his team come up with ingenious ideas, such as a bread made with flour from the hops left over from the local brewery, which has resulted in "a bread with 50% more protein and a lot more fibre", explains an enthusiastic Lozano. They are already looking for new uses for this flour, such as "growing mushrooms in it". The same philosophy has been applied to the vegetable waste from the production of a red wine sauce, from which they have made "a powder that we incorporate into the butter, to give it new nuances".

"The seal is the protein of the Arctic", explains Lozano, a product they work with and respect at Huset, and which they presented at Madrid Fusión Alimentos de España, smoked on a seaweed waffle. Alberto Lozano also aims for zero waste in this product, proudly explaining how they have managed to obtain seal garum "with a totally fishy taste, because this animal is more fish than meat". With seal blubber, they have obtained "a kind of cheek with a very high collagen content", which they also use to make a bearnaise.

Seal blubber has also proved very useful for Lozano in the production of reindeer sausage, a product he had previously struggled with. "Unfortunately, I used to have to use a bit of pork fat to make a decent sausage. Now, with seal fat, we get an authentic Arctic sausage," the chef boasted. Reindeer is another of the products processed at Huset, which is used to make the aforementioned sausage, as well as salami, shanks and sausages. "The Arctic reindeer is like the Wayú of reindeer. It has magnificent meat, very marbled", explains Lozano.

With cod and white partridge, the chef from Albacete illustrated his "circular dishes", in which he uses different parts of the same product with different techniques. This is the case of the cod, in batter with flour from its own skin and collagen from the same skin instead of eggs, or the toast with seeds from the partridge's crop - "here it's forbidden to collect seeds, but it's another thing when I find them in the partridge's crop" - with a supposed anchovy made from the bird's breast muscle.






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