Tom Coohill, chef/owner of Coohills at 1400 Wewatta St. has been invited to compete in Iceland’s Food and Fun Festival. He has accepted and will attend.
The festival takes place in Reykjavik from Feb. 26 through March 2, and includes 13 guest chefs and finest restaurants.
Coohill is paired with Rub 23, a restaurant that specializes in ingredients from Icelandic fishermen and farmers and serves a wide selection of sushi.
The other food element of the festival is the chef competition, which takes place on the last day. The chefs compete by creating three courses from Icelandic-only ingredients.
Fellow chef, Jennifer Jasinski, a “Top Chef Masters” contender and chef/owner of Rioja and other restaurants, will be serving as a judge at the festival, adding another Denver connection to the event.
Chef Coohill said he is elated about being asked to compete in the Food and Fun Festival, partly because he and his wife and business partner, Diane, have made strong bonds with the Icelandic chefs who have come to collaborate in the Coohills’ kitchen.
In the two years since Coohills opened, the restaurant has been selected to host Icelandic chefs for the national “A Taste of Iceland” event, part of a promotional campaign sponsored by Iceland Naturally. In Denver, the Taste of Iceland dinners are culinary collaborations between Coohill and an Icelandic chef. In 2012, Coohills welcomed Hakon Mar Orvarsson and in 2013, chef Thrainn Freyr Vigfússon, captain of the Icelandic Culinary Team.
“Working with both chefs Hakon and Thrainn over the past two years has been an amazing experience.” Tom said, adding, “Joining forces with other chefs in the kitchen is one of the great joys of being in this business and now, to be invited to Iceland to compete with 12 extremely talented chefs, is humbling and extremely exciting. I can’t wait to cook and create.”
Chef Coohill studied under masters of French cuisine and opened the famed Ciboulette restaurant in Atlanta in 1992. Ciboulette was praised for its modern French fare, featured in “Gourmet” and named to “Esquire Magazine’s” list of Top 25 Restaurants in the country. Chef Coohill was invited to be a guest chef at Cordon Bleu in Paris and The James Beard House in New York City.