Team of chefs from Norway bring traditional menu to Høstfest

September 09, 2019

Team of chefs from Norway bring traditional menu to Høstfest

Four thousand fifty miles, give or take a few, is the distance five chefs will travel this month to cook Norwegian specialties for the Scandi restaurant at Norsk Høstfest.

From Oslo, Norway to Minot, North Dakota, they bring their expertise and their recipes to share with people from around the world who attend the 42nd annual festival Sept. 25-28.


“I have been to Høstfest many times. This year will be my 10th time, so I have been coming back to Minot for a decade straight,” said Thomas Mydland, executive chef at Scandi. “I really like to experience the festival feeling, and it is fun to see how the festival has been changing throughout the years.”

Mydland, from Oslo, has served as a chef for several of the biggest hotels in Norway as well as on offshore oilrigs.

Joining him will be four other Norwegian chefs with whom he has worked with in Norway.


“This is the first time in Minot and at Høstfest for the other four on my team,” Mydland said, “and they all are looking forward to spending some time at the festival and experiencing the festival.”


Britt Karin Strand is former head chef at the Radisson Plaza Hotel, Oslo’s largest hotel. “She makes the best desserts that you have ever tasted!” Mydland said.

June Skjeldal is the former chef de partie at the Radisson Atlantic Hotel. “June loves all kinds of food, but loves Norwegian salmon the most!”

Kim Hagen, former sous chef at the Radisson is now serving people working on offshore oilrigs. “Here’s a fun fact,” Myland said, “he is a reality contestant from TV, too!”

Last but not least is Irene Selle, “an excellent and trained a la carte chef who has been working at some of the best restaurants in Stavanger, Norway.” She currently runs a bar and restaurant in Oslo.

What special dishes will they create at Høstfest?

“I have belonged to Scandi all the years that I have been to Høstfest, and every year we have had meatballs, fish soup, pea soup, cod and salmon on the menu. The more recent years we have expanded the menu to include both salmon burger and desserts,” Mydland said. “We believe in tradition, so all the dishes on the menu are the same as it has been in the latest years. But we also like surprises, so this year there will be some new desserts, one called, in Norwegian, Sviskegrøt,” which is prune pudding with cream, “and Trollkrem,” which is a lingonberry mousse.

What are Mydland’s Scandi favorites? “Meatballs (kjøttkaker) and fish soup”.

“We get all the ingredients in Minot,” Mydland said, “so actually all the dishes can be made at home. Just ask us for the recipes and we will gladly tell and teach you.”

Mydland’s love for cooking began as a child. “I started to cook when I was a kid, helping my mother and grandmother out in the kitchen. I think it was then I found out that I wanted to become a chef,” he said. “Then I started at culinary school and after have been working at several of the biggest hotels in both Stavanger and Oslo.”


“In Norway we have a mentor, a really famous woman who has been a big inspiration for chefs in all ages,” Mydland said. ”She is known for TV, and writing books. Her name is Ingrid Espelid Hovig and she has been a big inspiration for both me and other chefs.” Hovig is sometimes referred to as the “Julia Child of Norway”.

Høstfest is the primary event that brings Mydland and his crew to the United States. They love the festival, but most of all they love the volunteers who work with them.

“The volunteers working at Scandi are the best!” he said. Many of them “have been working together with us several years. We always start talking about them on the flight over, wondering if they will be there this year, too, or if there will be a lot of new faces. The volunteers that work together with us make the job that we do easier, since we work as a team.”

Breakfast items are also on the menu at Scandi, located in Reykjavik Hall at Høstfest, which is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.