Please welcome Hinrik Lárusson to the Niceland Seafood team, Hinrik is also an esteemed member of the Icelandic National culinary team. At the mere age of 22 years old, this ambitious young man has won multiple awards and runs a successful catering company, Luxury Catering with his mentor Viktor Örn, who is also a member of the Icelandic National Culinary team.
Hinrik currently lives in Kópavogur, he has a big family, “I have five…no SIX siblings,” he says and laughs. He tells me about his close relationship with his mother and stepfather, and what a dramatic influence his mother has had on his life.
“My mother owned and ran a hotel for 17 years, I basically grew up there and started “working” in the kitchen when I was 12 years old. That is when I knew I wanted to become a chef.” Hinrik recalls from his years at his mother´s hotel, Hotel Hekla. He goes on to praise his mother for everything she has done for him and credits her for his success within the culinary world, “she is the reason I got into this business and the reason I have gotten this far.”
Hinrik Lárusson grew up in south Iceland. His culinary career officially started when he was 16 years old, at Grillið restaurant located in the penthouse of Hotel Saga. “My first mentor was a very talented man and head chef at Grillið named Sigurður Helgason, he took me under his wing and showed me what kind of work and dedication it would take to make it as a chef.”
Hinrik continued his education in Rennes, France at a restaurant called Auberge du Pont d´Acingé. Living abroad, the quality and the perfection of the french culinary world inspired Hinrik to return home to his roots and learn from the best. Returning to become the head chef at a Hotel in northern Iceland, he was prepared to return to Grillið restaurant to show what he had learnt as a chef.
Hinrik enjoys new challenges, conquering the moment and proving himself in order to gain more responsibility. Which was the case once he returned to the prestigious Grillið. He goes on to tell us about the action and stress that life in the kitchen entails, he calls it “the heat.” The competitive nature between the chefs pushes them to give their dishes 110% everyday.
“Chef Viktor Örn Andresson is my biggest mentor, he has shaped me the most of any other chef. He is a major part of my culinary life, education and passion.” Hinrik tells us a little bit about the company they run together called Luxury Catering. Viktor and Hinrik work as chefs and personal chefs all around the world. From the elite high society events for Lords and Royalty, to chic events in homes across the nation.
“A partnership with Niceland Seafood was written in the stars because ever since I can remember I especially love working with fresh fish. Seafood in Iceland is simply one of the finest to work with. I am a competitive man and therefore I only work with the very best.” He goes on to tell us he has always been competitive, competing in judo, chess, soccer among other things. “Niceland Seafood is such a wonderful addition to the fresh seafood experience, seeing the true journey from sea to pan is new, this level of ambition and quality to depict the story is inspiring. I am so happy to be part of an enthusiastic and creative team and am excited to see what the future has in store. Now I am part of the story.”
Hinrik pairs a lot of his dishes with ingredients he harvests from Icelandic nature, walking onto the beaches in Iceland collecting sea grass, sea truffle, finding herbs to accent the protein in a new way.
“Catching a fish and grilling it right away with herbs found in the nature around it is absolutely incredible.”
So being such a true competitor, I ask him what is his greatest achievement so far, having won numerous awards I imagine this is a difficult question to answer. Hinrik has held a place in the top three for Nordic chef junior masters and Nordic chef in which he entered and achieved 2nd place. “Actually my greatest accomplishment is being part of a competition in which Thomas Keller also has a team competing.” Thomas Keller is a chef and owner of the French Laundry, and he leads the culinary team of the United States he continues to say, “he is the super star of the culinary world, being featured on his instagram was unbelievable.” Hinrik and Viktor met him and competed against other international independent chefs during the Bocuse D´Or known as the most prestigious gastronomic competition in the world.
Hinrik was invited to join the Icelandic culinary team in 2018, he would like to continue working with chef Viktor Örn and open a restaurant in Reykjavik. He says that both Viktor and himself have the ambition an the drive necessary to succeed, always willing to go the extra mile, “in my life I have always been aware of the fact that you make your own success.” Niceland asks him what his hopes are for the next decade, he tells me he would love to go to work in the UK, Scandinavia but the ultimate dream is to open a place in the United States.
Hinrik leaves hopeful chefs with these words of wisdom, “Put in the hours, don’t give up and every piece of knowledge you can learn along the way, will add to your power in the future.”
To find out more about Hinrik Lárusson and Niceland Seafood, please follow us on instagram @nicelandseafood