Koks Restaurant

Heritage, Survival and Hope

Written by Tara Stevens
Photographed by Martina Maffini

When I sat down to start researching this piece the world was in the middle of a pandemic.

It was not possible to travel anywhere, much less taste the food of Poul Andrias Ziska, the head chef at Koks on the Faroe Islands, whose culinary brilliance had people twittering—from bemused Michelin inspectors to the New Yorker Magazine writer he’d taken far out of their comfort zone. Instead, I picked up the phone and called Ziska, who answered from a Land Rover that was bumping over a land so solitary and wild I could almost feel it down the wire.


The Faroe Islands are an archipelago of 18 volcanic islands floating in the far North Atlantic about halfway between Norway and Iceland. They have a combined population of approximately 50,000 humans, 80,000 sheep and many thousands more seabirds, all sharing a dreamscape where emerald topped cliffs are slashed by diamond white waterfalls, 19th century schooners dance atop the waves and turf-roofed houses blend as easily into the countryside as birds’ nests. Koks is located on the biggest of the islands, a mere 25 minutes from the capital, Tórshavn, where it occupies a lonesome, eighteenth century house above the inky black Leynavatn lake and a rippling sea of wind-burnished fields.

This article is included in issue Nº14. Buy it here.