Nordic Food – high quality and local

The recent Bocuse d’Or chef ’s competition was won by the Dane Rasmus Kofoed from restaurant Geranium. He is a worker in the new Nordic kitchen movement initiated by Claus Meyer.

The intention behind it all is set down in a manifesto.

Manifesto for the New Nordic Kitchen: As Nordic chefs we find that the time has now come for us to create a New Nordic Kitchen, which in virtue of its good taste and special character compares favourable with the standard of the greatest kitchens of the world.

The aims of New Nordic Cuisine are:
1. To express the purity, freshness, simplicity and ethics we wish to associate with our region.
2. To reflect the changing of the seasons in the meals we make.
3. To base our cooking on ingredients and produce whose characteristics are particularly excellent in our climates, landscapes and waters.
4. To combine the demand for good taste with modern knowledge of health and well-being.
5. To promote Nordic products and the variety of Nordic producers – and to spread the word about their underlying cultures.
6. To promote animal welfare and a sound production process in our seas, on our farmland and in the wild.
7. To develop potentially new applications of traditional Nordic food products.
8. To combine the best in Nordic cookery and culinary traditions with impulses from abroad.
9. To combine local self-sufficiency with regional sharing of high-quality products.
10. To join forces with consumer representatives, other cooking craftsmen, agriculture, the fishing, food , retail and wholesale industries, researchers, teachers, politicians and authorities on this project for the benefit and advantage of everyone in the Nordic countries.”

Surely this is great! Local, sustainable, innovative, food made as nature wants it to be, transport distances reduced or taken away, local forage of food in the wild, a lift for local specialist smallscale farmers both for meats and vegetables, fruits, spices, foods we have never eaten before. Diversity introduced and developed, your  food tells you where you are.

New ingredients – risky business that – new and strange combinations, new tastes, new look, building economic strength in small communities. It is supported by a Nordic Food Lab where sharing and transparency are the lead words.

These ideas are the future of food: all regions, communities should do this for the nourishment and excitement of us all. Now this is done in the grand style with Michelin stars, but these ideas could surely be used for other ordinary – even cheap – good food as well.

Nice work – bodes well for the future.

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