Freunde von Freunden interview Ole Martin Hansen

With all eyes on London as the Olympic games progress it looks like Freunde von Freunden thought it was the perfect moment to showcase some creative talent from the English capital, so today we visit the work of a young Norwegian who runs his own smokehouse in Stoke Newington. Staying true to four generations of the Hansen and Lydersen family craft, Ole Hansen has taken a shine to the family recipe that proved so successful back in Varanger Fjord where he grew up. This recipe does in fact date back to 1923 and the young Norwegian is meticulous in maintaining the right balance of flavour and authenticity that his grandfather introduced him to, going as far as shipping sawdust from Denmark to insure his product is as delectable as it can be.

This attention to detail has not gone unnoticed and his sustainable resourced salmon has reached some of the finest restaurants in London, including the likes of the Viajante, Nopi and the Sakenohana to name a few. In the film below Ole explains that his work is like that of a scientist, in that he is always researching, always trying to discover new ways to improve his smoking process, like someone would focus on a small cell in a lab day upon day. It’s this determination to achieve the best fish he can possibly put his name to that has set him above his competitors, and I’ve developed a big admiration for this ideal of his that things can always be improved, always perfected.

I can’t say smoking fish is something I’ve ever taken an interest to before but watching this over I was fascinated to learn about the process and catch a few glimpses of what is involved in making this type of product. I love the fact that Ole is passionate in equal measure about the quality of what he is creating and the integrity of his product too, for example he sources fish from the Faroe island as he appreciates the fact that the farmers here take an interest in the welfare of the fish and not just the margin they will make. I hope that in the future we will continue to see more operations like this that have a conscious eye on what is right ethically, in the meantime I trust you will enjoy what we have below and if you’ve got the time please do visit Ole’s website to learn a little more about this wonderful craft of his.