A visit to the local café

Rose Poulsen is originally from Ethiopia, where she grew up on a big farm. Today, she runs “Roses Café & Catering” in Ljósá. The café opened in July of 2019. At her café, the importance of fresh ingredients can not be understated.

Just as I enter her café, Rose asks me to disinfect my hands. She tells me that she hates that it has come to this, as she would much rather meet people with open arms and a smile. After taking a seat, we start discussing her childhood.

– As a young girl, I had already learned the importance of healthy food and fresh ingredients. I lived on a big farm with my parents, where we were self-sufficient. I remember my mother having a hidden skill. She could always pick out the freshest and best ingredients. Hospitality played a massive role in my upbringing, and I brought this with me into my professional life.

What was your first culinary job?

– I came to The Faroe Islands in 2006 with the original plan of going into the IT business. This, however, did not work out as intended, so I needed a plan B. I started at Magn, where I worked in their kitchen. I enjoyed this very much, but it became clear to me that the selection of food was very limited, and most meals had to be microwaved. I discussed this with my manager and eventually, I went from having one fresh ingredient, the selection of dishes rose to 40.

Why did you choose a culinary career?

– It’s difficult to pinpoint an exact reason. I grew up with parents that knew a great deal about food. Upon arriving in the Faroes, I started working independently as a cleaner. Eventually, I started offering to cook for people. After some time in this job, I started in the aforementioned job at Magn. Later, I went to the US, where I studied culinary arts. When I returned to the Faroes, I set my sights on opening my very own café, and now that goal has been reached. Even though it wasn’t my plan originally, I’d say that the culinary world became my destiny.

A look inside Rose’s Café & Catering

What’s the best thing about your job?

– Happy customers. When my customers smile, I sleep soundly at night.

Which cuisines inspire you the most?

Naturally, Ethiopian cuisine plays a massive part in my life. The Faroese and Ethiopian cuisines are quite similar. We also dry and ferment our food. I have travelled around the Middle east, so I draw inspiration from those cuisines as well. Additionally, I’ve always loved Greek food.

When asked about her role models in cooking, Rose is quick to reply

– My mother. Like with most people, it all starts with their mother. If we’re talking celebrity chefs, I’d say Jamie Oliver and Gordon Ramsay, even though he swears too much!

What are your long-term goals?
My long-term goal is to improve the area surrounding my café, and to erect a large sign, so people know where to go when looking for it. Another of my goals is to make a fusion cuisine between both Faroese and Ethiopian cuisines. Finally, I’d like to thank Eiði municipality for their incredible support, says Rose Alemayhu Poulsen, sitting by the desk in her cozy café.