Refrigerator Look Book: Siggi Hilmarsson

The 38-year-old Icelandic founder of Siggi's yogurt eats foods that "make you feel good an hour after you’ve eaten them." Here are some of them.
(Photo: Siggi's)
(Photo: Siggi’s)

If you haven’t tried Icelandic skyr brand Siggi’s yet, you’ve most likely spotted the adorable white yogurt cups at Whole Foods or another natural supermarket, where they’re now ubiquitous.

The man behind the fast-growing company is Siggi Hilmarsson, a 38-year-old Reykjavik native living in New York City.

Hilmarsson started Siggi’s in 2005 after he got homesick for skyr and started experimenting with the recipe in his Tribeca loft. It was only a matter of time before he quit his management consulting job and made the full-time transition to yogurt.

“I was always into food and healthy stuff, but it was when I moved here in 2002 that I noticed how much sugar there was in food,” he says. “Yogurt wasn’t just yogurt. There’s a lot of crap in it, for lack of a better word. Some have as much sugar as a Coke!” Siggi’s, on the other hand, is made with just milk from grass-fed cows, live cultures, a touch of cane sugar, and fresh fruit (depending on the flavor).

And like his product, Hilmarsson’s diet is refreshingly simple. He’s a fish-and-potatoes kind of guy, who puts whole foods and freshness before fat content. Find out what he’s currently eating at home, here.

(Photo: Siggi Him)
(Photo: Siggi Hilmarsson)

I read that you eat an average of one pound of yogurt every day. Is that true? It happens. Especially on Wednesdays, when I do samples at Whole Foods—then I go well over a pound. But I’m usually having two to three cups per day, which is around a pound.

Well at least you can say you still aren’t sick of it! Are there any cool ways you cook with Siggi’s? I love Mexican food, and I like to use the plain Siggi’s as a substitute for sour cream. After the gym, I’ll usually use it in a smoothie with coconut water and some fruit.

Speaking of, what are those veggies for in the bottom drawers of your fridge? My office is right by Whole Foods in Chelsea, so I do a raw salad at the salad bar for lunch. I also pick up veggies for dinner, which is what you see here. I usually cook them up with some pan-seared fish and potatoes or couscous. I put avocado on top if I remember to get one…and hey! There’s one in there.

Sounds simple and delicious. What kind of cheese is that? It’s just a light bread cheese, Havarti. I have it on some crackers or toast as a snack before bed. It’s a snack from my childhood.

What’s in the plastic next to the berries? So, that’s actually not normally in there. They’re two Icelandic specialties: a type of flatbread and smoked lamb. My parents came from Iceland the night before I took this photo….it’s for their visit. If I were in Iceland, I’d take it hiking as a snack.

Don’t worry, we won’t tell customs. I notice the kimchi. Another source of probiotics? I don’t think of it that way. I just like it. It’s the same thing with pickles.

Fair enough. You seem like a pretty healthy guy. Do you have any indulgences? I eat cheese, about a bar of dark chocolate every day, avocado, and whole milk. I always have my coffee with whole milk. I use olive oil and butter to cook. I don’t think about fat a lot. I don’t deprive myself. But that’s what I like to eat. I don’t crave candy or soda. I like things that make you feel good an hour after you’ve eaten them. —Jamie McKillop

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