Icelandic chef Agnar Sverrisson has recently taken the lead at fine dining restaurant Moss at the Retreat at Blue Lagoon. Passionate about highlighting simple flavours and working with seasonal produce, his dishes are a window into the finest reimagined Icelandic cusine.
Born in Iceland, Aggi’s cooking career began at the age of 18, leading him from Reykjavík to London to Luxembourg and back to England in 2002, where he joined Raymond Blanc at Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, the oldest two Michelin-starred restaurant in the country. Aggi was Chef Patron and owner of Michelin-starred Texture Restaurant and Champagne Bar in London, which received its first Michelin star in 2010 and retained for ten years, until earlier this year when Aggi took the decision to close the restaurant and return home to his native country.
Located on the highest point of the UNESCO Global Geopark on which The Retreat at Blue Lagoon sits, Moss restaurant reimagines Iceland’s culinary traditions through three tasting menus; five-course, seven-course, or vegan – leading guests through the country’s seas, mountains, rivers, and farms, highlighting the purest seasonal and regional ingredients.
Moss Restaurant also features a 10-seat Chef’s Table made of lava rock that was quarried on-site, and a Wine Cellar, which was built into a cavern of multi-hued, frozen-in-time lava that erupted in 1226. Anchored by Old World wines – with a focus on Bordeaux and Burgundy – the Wine Cellar also houses New World wines from the Americas and Australia.
Chef Aggi, who created the concept of the menu at Moss when it opened in 2018, will now be at the property full time and will work closely with Chef Ingi Thorarinn Fridriksson to evolve Moss into one of the best restaurants in Scandinavia.
FOUR Questions with Aggi
What is your culinary philosophy?
I let the ingredients do the talking and try not to over-complicate. Simplicity and seasonality are key.
What is your greatest inspiration and how do you incorporate this into your cooking?
I trained with Chef Raymond Blanc OBE and Gary Jones for five years and they taught me the sheer importance of simple flavours and seasonality. Tasting is key. Don’t think about the aesthetic to begin with – always taste and then you can frame the presentation around it. If you taste your food and you work with seasons, your dishes will do the talking.
If you could take a plane to any restaurant in the world, where would you go and why?
Aside from Le Manoir aux Quat‘Saisons, I would take a plane to a restaurant i‘ve never visited. Famed for its innovative flavours and world-class reputation, L‘Astrance in Paris is number one on my list.
What is the most memorable meal you’ve ever had?
When I was much younger, I was invited to dine at the then world‘s best restaurant, El Bulli, near the town of Roses in Catalonia. It was absolutely magnificent. Everything about the experience was magical and I can still remember the culinary journey minute by minute.
- 1 Michelin Star at Texture Restaurant and Champagne Bar | 2010-2020
Blue Lagoon Iceland
Images courtesy The Retreat at Blue Lagoon