18. Mar 2019

Framtidas festival­mat

What is the perfect festival food? Chefs, producers and festival organizers along the Nordic Green Belt took on the challenge. During some intense hours in the kitchen they cooked together both innovative dishes and new business models for handheld food.

Taste the word “festival food”. Are you getting some bad associations like overpriced, tasteless burgers washed down with tame beer? Or maybe you would bring your own lunchbox rather than risking a bad meal experience? Then you probably have not been to a festival in a while, or at least you have been attending the wrong one. There has been an incredible development when it comes to festival food in recent years, and the term is no longer synonymously with expensive and bad food. And according to Kristine Rise in Oi! Trøndersk Mat og Drikke, it will get even better. The Interreg project “Food and drink along the Nordic Green Belt” is working to lift local food culture from Sundsvall to Trondheim. One of the goals is to develop new and innovative concepts for handheld festival food.


In February, some of the best people in the food and festival industry were gathered at Bula Bistro to dig in to what good festival food really is. The goal is to be able to offer more local food at festivals and events, and also develop a business model for the use of local food that provides value to the manufacturer and festival organizer, and last but not least: give the visitors a better festival experience.

The perfect festival food should preferably be eaten with one hand – without turning in to a big mess. It should saturate, without being too filling. And of course, it must be a sensation to the taste buds! In addition, the food should be easy to prepare, and it must be possible to prep most of the food in advance, so that hungry festival-goers do not have to wait for too long.

Manufacturers, cooks and festival organizers took the challenge, and the result was simply fantabulous!

Norwegian potato tortillas, flatbreads, pancakes, steam buns, salad leaves or the Swedish “kolbullar” – a good wrapping is a nice starting point, that can be filled with whatever the chef has at hand. Even porridge can be cooked and served with no mess at all! And there lacked neither raw materials nor inspiration. Reindeer, crab, fresh cod, smoked salmon and local sausages to name a few. And of course, local cheese. And not to forget vegetables in the whole color range. Raw, fried, pickled, fermented, fresh – within a few hours, the chefs came trough most of the techniques.

– Everything we have made today can be varied indefinitely. Start with the raw materials you have at hand, says Reneé Fagerhøy, who opened Bula Bistro for the occasion.

Photo: Leiv Aspén / Bennett

Different events, different needs

When we talk about festival food we have to talk about Stokkøya Festival. It mainly serves local food from manufacturers and farms close by. All the food is made from scratch with fresh ingredients and lots of love. From this year, the festival will also get its own festival chef. First out is Jonas Nåvik, from the one star Michelin restaurant Fagn.

– Stokkøya Festival is a shining example of what is possible to achieve. But smaller festivals and local events have other challenges and needs, Rise says. The aim of the project is to show that also here, it is possible to replace the hot dog.

The day was carried out under the direction of the Interreg project “Food and drink along the Nordic Green Belt”, which is a collaboration between players in Trøndelag, Jämtland and Höga Kusten.