Yesmine Helena Olsson

Short bio: I was born in Sri Lanka, adopted to Sweden but been living the last 20 years in Reykjavik Iceland. My first years in Iceland I worked as a personal trainer and nutrition consultant as that is what I learned in Sweden but most of my life I worked as a dancer and choreographer. After a few years in Iceland I started to miss my food, so I decided to publish a cookbook together with my husband about light healthy and modern Indian cooking that became a bestseller in Iceland and won awards at the Gourmand Cookbook Awards in Paris.

Occupation: Today I am still a Personal trainer though I only do very few hours in the gym, I work with food events and a few shows on stage but after a three year break I just started to prep for a new show for TV again.

Hometown: Viken Helsingborg, Sweden

Current Residence: Nordlingaholt 15 min from downtown. I live with my husband and 2 kids in a flat close to nature with a wonderful view, with horses outside the windows and 20 min to the nearest skiing area.

Q & A

  1. Where did you grow up and how was it? I grew up in Viken a small beautiful fishing village outside Helsingborg that is known for its golf course and the harbor were we used to fish crabs. Me and my sister were very fortunate to get to grow up there in a calm and safe environment with a small beautiful adventure forest that we played in and a beach that we often had picnic on, making fires and having summer barbecues. I also remember doing my first job there quite young, picking apples and strawberries, maybe eating most of them.
  2. What would the title of your autobiography be? “Living in Iceland for 20 years” If you pass the first 6 months or 4 dark months you will most likely stay, I was going to live in Ny, I tried Copenhagen, London and NY but ended up here. Best of all worlds I guess.
  3. What are your favorite travel destinations? I go home to Sweden quite a bit to see my family and enjoy Swedish summer and traditions but my favorite city is still NY else I love skiing so Utah, but I still have a bunch of places I like to go to.
  4. When you think of Reykjavík, what immediately comes to mind? Happening, Culinary City if anything, the standards of good food and chefs here is very impressive, great night life, design, small but big city life, charming.
  5. What can’t you travel without? My music. I have to have it everywhere I go.
  6. How do you like to spend your weekend? I go to the gym and then I like to cook with friends, chill with the fam in the countryside where we have horses, lambs and chickens. Ski if I can.
  7. What is your favorite book, by Icelandic author? My favorite books are by Ragnar Axelssons a documentary photographer better known as RAX. More pictures less text. Still full of stories of Icelandic traditions, life and nature. “Last days of the arctic” and “Veiðimenn Norðursins”
  8. Where do you get your art-fix in Reykjavík, and do you have any favorite artists? I tend to get my fix by just attending the many festivals in Reykavik. Rkv Culture festival, Rkv Blues and Jazz festival, Bacon festival, Rvk Fashion festival, Design March my favourite is still Culture night with a little bit of everything. My favorite artist is Eggert Petursson and his beautiful paintings of Icelandic flowers and nature.
  9. What are some of your favorite stores in Reykjavík? Uplifún, A very unusual flower store in Reykjavik concert house, Brauð og Co for tasty organic breads and bakes, Myconceptstore, Systur og Makar, Kisan, Smekkleysa and Spaksmannsspjarir.
  10. What music are you listening to these days, and who are some of your favorite Icelandic musicians? Banks, Lianne La Havas, The weekend, Solange, Ed Sheeran, Ásrtiðir, Sturla Atlas, Június Mayvant, Emiliana Torrini, Sin Fan, Quarashi
  11. Your favorite Icelandic culinary dish? Must be traditional Icelandic lamb.
  12. What Icelandic movie would you recommend? “Hjártasteinn”
  13. Reason you would recommend Iceland as a destination? For its unique nature, clean air, fresh water, good food, music, action and fun people.
  14. The must – do and must see in Iceland? Eat Icelandic lamb, Ride on Icelandic horses, Dive in Silvra, go out to the countryside where there are no street lights and see millions of stars on a dark night or play golf all night long in the summer when the sun doesn’t go down.