Category Archives: nnf

Claus Meyer

Claus Meyer

New Nordic Cuisine is the new normal
Now we should just move on, talk less about the New Nordic Cuisine and just let it become a part of our lives. Not cling to it as a sort of successful brand to preserve for 200-300 years, having to find budgets. These values are so normal. This is the new normal. Suddenly a large number of very important people, opinion makers, stakeholders with influence on other people´s lives, have come to the belief that the values imbedded in the New Nordic Cuisine manifesto is not some subjective trend. Our understanding of food culture and its impact on us and the next generations has simply risen to a new level where we take better decisions. In 2004 it looked like a revolution. Very soon, it will just be seen as a vehicle that has taken us to a new level of consciousness. It will slowly be a part of our educational system, how we will teach our children about food, agriculture and cooking.

Together with my ‘wingman’ Jan Krag Jacobsen, I spent six months preparing a draft of the manifesto. We invited the chefs to become involved in the process and told them that we would do the hard work, analysing the phenomenon and trying to come up with a starting point. Then we met and had a great discussion lasting 12-13 hours. It was very important that everyone took ownership to the writing and the ideology, and had a say about it. We began with 15-20 points, changed the words here and there, and ended up with ten points. It was a wonderful, quite productive, collaborative if not always harmonious process, and afterwards, we were prepared to sign the manifesto. The process, as well as the signing, was meant to inspire the chefs to take responsibility.

Just after this workshop, we held the New Nordic Cuisine Symposium. Lectures by qualified politicians, scientists, farmers, food industrialists, teachers, researchers, retailers and international chefs helped to explore the question with the audience: what would it take to become one of the greatest food regions in the world, and what would be the benefits further down the line? One important media director claimed that a New Nordic Cuisine was a potential billion kronor industry. Consequently, the idea of the manifesto was to formulate an inclusive ideology that could be a guiding light to all stakeholders.

It would also outline the evident win-win scenario – not only would gastronomy profit, but also our exports, tourism and health costs, it would be good for society, for every individual, for the future generations and for the world. The idea of a symposium and a workshop around the manifesto, with an ideology at the centre, signed by the most prominent chefs in Scandinavia, was that it could involve anyone. It became anchored in the Danish parliament because the food minister of that time fell in love with the idea. Under the Danish presidency, the Nordic Council of Ministers would formally add the ideology as a programme. This was an important aspect that meant that the movement quickly gained momentum.

We opened Noma one year before the symposium, and that work was linked to the preparations. We invited various expert groups to go through certain aspects of the ideas. We didn´t say “anyone who’s not working for biodiversity is out”. We tried, as you can read from the document, to say what had to be said in a more subtle, inclusive and engaging way that would not push people away, but bring them together. It shouldn´t become a niche cuisine. Instead it would have a critical mass and would be a standalone manifesto, with cooperation across national barriers and languages. It was important that it was Nordic and not Danish.

Regarding the manifesto, you can’t overestimate either the words or the importance of having the chefs standing up for some kind of paradigm shift or revolution. Before, they were just chefs cooking up great food in their restaurants, but afterwards they became role models for our civilisation and informal leader figures in this informal movement. They fulfilled their role perfectly and let themselves orchestrate in this direction. Now I think it’s common that a chef considers himself to be a potential role model in society with a certain responsibility.

The impact of Noma and its international success was, of course, an important part of the phenomenon. We didn´t count on that. We probably would have taken the New Nordic Cuisine somewhere without Noma, but it showed the potential in the ideas.

I never expected the chefs to become so important and inspiring for people working within the food industry in the Nordic region. They also inspired architects, the Danish school system and chefs all over the world. I only hope that it can be an instrument to inspire different stakeholders in the Nordic region to improve, for the big dairies to improve, for the breweries to be more ambitious, for politicians to take greater responsibility. For me, it was all about growing awareness of the potential of doing things in a better way, for the benefit of us all. And with very little formal support from the founding fathers and those who signed the manifesto, because basically all of us went back to our lives and continued to work. We had no presidency, no logo, no budget. But a lot of different stakeholders, independently of each other, in some sort of virus-like movement, have done what each could be expected to do. And finally, it looks like some sort of imperative.

Of course it takes longer for the large players in food production to react. We’ve seen some extraordinary changes: raw-milk cheese production has been allowed in Denmark, we’ve seen an atomisation of the Nordic brewing industry, with more than 120 new young vibrant microbreweries in Denmark alone. But to create the structures that supply totally outstanding food products that people want to buy at supermarkets, that’s the tougher part of the work. We’ve seen a lot of small, very successful food companies creating great products, based on local produce, really changing what you find on the shelves. Maybe the larger players don’t know how to deal with this. They have a different structure – they’re used to handling bulk products. But Carlsberg is a good example, when they created the Jacobsen microbrewery. That’s one of the most successful examples of how to turn the Nordic Cuisine phenomenon into industrial food production. Maybe the message is that the change in the production landscape should not come from the big companies, but from a large number of individual players within the industry, together forming a big volume in the end. I’m not sure that the proof of success would be that Lantmännen and Arla suddenly changed their bread and cheese approach overnight. Maybe they should just slowly downsize, as a result of the competition and the change of values in society, and then wake up to a new reality.

There might well be ten thousand different ways of implementing the New Nordic Cuisine. The movement and the ideology doesn´t say anything about how to cook the food. Noma got so much attention initially that people tend to get the two things mixed up and say that New Nordic Cuisine is the way they cook at Noma. But, for me, Noma is just one very extreme expression of the ideas in this ideology. The point of the success with certain restaurants is the idea of inspiring society and being a catalyst for a change process, reaching many more people´s lives. For me it can be a hospital, a company canteen or a private housewife making something out of apples and cabbage. There is definitely no telling what the food has to look like, whether it’s complex or simple on the plate. Also, the manifesto does not define when something is New Nordic Cuisine and when it is not. Nothing tells you how many grams of Peruvian chili you can have in a stew before it becomes un-Nordic. That´s not what we wanted to do.

The whole point is that any kind of food person can use this approach to move in a direction, when brewing beer, cooking food, no matter whether it´s fine dining or simple everyday food. In that sense, the ideology is very imprecise.

Now we should just move on, talk less about the New Nordic Cuisine and just let it become a part of our lives. Not cling to it as a sort of successful brand to preserve for 200-300 years, needing to find budgets. These values are so normal. This is the new normal, I would say. Suddenly a large number of very important people, opinion formers, stakeholders with influence on other people´s lives, have come to the belief that the values embedded in the New Nordic Cuisine manifesto is not some subjective trend. Our understanding of food culture and its impact on us and the next generations has simply risen to a new level where we take better decisions. In 2004 it looked like a revolution. Very soon, it will just be seen as a vehicle that has taken us to a new level of consciousness. It will slowly become a part of our educational system, how we teach our children about food, agriculture and cooking.

New Nordic Kitchen Manifesto
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“Under the Danish presidency, the Nordic Council of Ministers would formally add the ideology as a programme”

“The impact of Noma and its international success was, of course, an important part of the phenomenon”

“There might well be ten thousand different ways of implementing the New Nordic Cuisine”

Claus Meyer
Mathias Dahlgren

Mathias Dahlgren

The Nordic Kitchen Manifesto strengthens the the Nordics as a culinary region
Ten years ago, in Sweden and the Nordic countries there were some restaurants and chefs who were quite well known in the world. This may have been through the success of their restaurants or through cooking contests, but we had not made an international impact as a country or region, like the new Spanish cuisine.

Claus Meyer was the visionary in this context and, on his initiative, some Nordic players were invited to the meeting in Copenhagen in 2004. He had written this manifesto with Jan Krag Jacobsen, and I suppose they both wanted us to go there, enjoy our time together, and then sign the document, as a fun thing to do. Instead, there were two intense days where we discussed who we were and what we should do, before we managed to come up with a manifesto that everyone could sign. It was really exciting. This kind of ideological conversation about what we are and what we have, and the opportunities available, had probably not occurred before.

In retrospect, it can be clearly seen how important it was to make a manifesto and date the decision. An incredible number of visitors to our restaurants refer to the manifesto. People have read it carefully and think it’s exciting. Meanwhile, the same discussions were held in many other places around the world, in the UK, Benelux, USA and Australia. They made the same journey, but have no dated manifesto!

As a PR campaign, the manifesto was an amazing success, and we should be pleased with the interest it generated. However, our food industry has been very slow to see the possibilities. One goal of the manifesto was to work in close dialogue with the food producers in our countries, to create a future of new marketable products. It has still not happened, after ten years. Sure, many interesting projects with small-scale production started in different regions but, really, we haven’t been able to capitalise on this idea, which is a pity. You’re headline news for a very short time, ten years is a long time, and in many cases it may be too late.

On the other hand, it’s no use crying over spilled milk. Maybe it’s enough to say, OK, it didn’t happen. But instead of quarrelling about what was not done and what didn´t turn out as intended, we can be proud of what we actually accomplished. If this happened in ten years, what can we do that will be so much better in the future?

When I was a young chef, you could cook in two ways – either the traditional way, or something totally different. What I find interesting, where the power is, is trying to do something new, based on the knowledge of tradition.

Ferran Adrià, today the world´s best-known chef, was asked why the Spanish cuisine evolved so incredibly fast. His response was that they have a tradition of sharing experience between generations. We’ve been very bad at this in Sweden. By respecting the conclusions of old people and, from this, trying to create something new, we could come so much further!

We’ve not been particularly good at highlighting our own identity and culture. Instead, we’ve been good at erasing it and being extremely open to inspiration from outside. You could call it a survival strategy, but it’s not interesting enough. With the manifesto, our food made a name for itself all over the world. And some specific phenomena aroused interest, foraging for example. Every time I get international guests, they ask “So you’re out in the woods every morning, picking moss and pine cones before you start cooking?” Well, it´s not exactly like that. We do like to be out in the countryside and use all good and edible produce, but the odd leaves and buds are not the foundation for our kitchen and cooking.

The New Nordic Manifesto has served as a start motor for a variety of projects. Both production of and demand for organic products have multiplied. The interest in food has never been greater than it is today, but there are many reasons for this. Cooking competitions have been important, the Chef of the Year, the Bocuse d’Or and the National Culinary Team, and today’s amateur competitions on television. Increased interest creates a demand for more varieties and quality levels. Slow cooking is back and has become very popular, like using the whole animal, to take advantage of resources and smart climate thinking. Much of this is exactly what the manifesto mentioned ten years ago.

An interesting paradox is the non-existent tradition of eating vegetables up here in the north. But there is nothing as typical of the new Nordic cuisine as putting a lot of plants and vegetables on the plate. And this phenomenon has made an international impact. Many claim to be inspired by the New Nordic approach, and instead of ‘nose to tail’ apply ‘root to flower’, using the whole plant.

An important reason to see a positive future are the skills of younger generations. When I was 20, I had travelled very little, and my experience in international top produce and culinary sensations was almost non-existent, while today’s 20-year-olds have so many more references. With their early life experiences, they get much more confidence and dare to try new things. People starting in the industry today have very good chances to succeed. With this in mind, there is a great potential for the Nordic Cuisine to be developed in a positive direction. We should get a lot better than we are today, and this is simply great!

However, we do have a problem with our domestic agriculture, trying to compete with a world that is constantly trying to produce food as cheaply as possible. We’ve been trying to do this for a long time, but with our climate and wages, we have no chance of succeeding. We must adapt our agriculture to other parameters, such as making the world’s best products, the most interesting or the healthiest food.

We will never ever be able to produce the world’s cheapest food… and the task is not even very interesting.

New Nordic Kitchen Manifesto
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“What I find interesting, where the power is, is trying to do something new, based on the knowledge of tradition”

“An interesting paradox is the non-existent tradition of eating vegetables up here in the north. “

mathias dahlgren
Leif Sørensen

Leif Sørensen

The New Nordic food culture is here to stay
Early in my career, the Nordic Cuisine and local Faroe dishes were not considered good enough for fine dining. Today, Nordic chefs are aware of the quality of our produce, and we continue to win Bocuse d´Or medals. The New Nordic food culture is here to stay, because the knowledge grows rapidly also among consumers, seeking out better and better products. I wish to see a new governmental program for the New Nordic Cuisine. The Ministry Conference should have a food department, because it´s very important to keep a regional institution, supporting us across the borders to develop both our local agriculture and food culture, states chef Leif Sørensen, Faroe Islands.

Early in my career, I worked in a restaurant were we got our deliveries from France and Italy, because the produce was supposed to be ‘fine’. Then we started this manifesto project and entered into long discussions. I remember Erwin Lauterbach was already focused on working with Danish produce, but others were not so sure. I began to think about my supply back home. Was there enough local produce to create great food? I had my doubts, and I also had no idea of what would happen after the signing of the manifesto. But I must say we succeeded very well. It really developed in the way we hoped it would, and since then it has been a fascinating journey. A lot of great things have really happened, not least to myself. The discussions were very inspiring for me and, when we had signed the manifesto, I felt obliged to do my duty.

I had been touring around earlier, working in top French and Danish restaurants, and when I returned home to the Faroe Islands, I started up with French-Danish cuisine. I thought the locals were fed up with their own food and wanted something new but, increasingly, foreign tourists started to ask for local dishes: “Don´t you have any typical Faroe specialties?” After the symposium in Copenhagen, I realised that it was stupid to serve French food in the Faroe Islands, so I developed my style into Nordic. I started a new restaurant, and then another, now working as if there was a Faroe cuisine, trying to express the tradition in a modern way. Today, there’s no longer a discussion about using local products. First, I was a bit extreme, refusing to use produce that you can´t grow here, like tomatoes. But today I feel freer, the manifesto is not a dogma, and sometimes I do use an occasional tomato. I would say that Torshamn´s five top restaurants are all into local Faroe cuisine, and during the last few years, more and more tourists have become familiar with the New Nordic concept.

When I was in Paris, there were more pasta restaurants than French! It was a bit strange to see. When people travel to other countries, they want to eat local cuisine. Food is an experience in itself, and we are now rediscovering the way it can express cultural identity and heritage.

The focus on Nordic products has meant a lot for us, being more conscious of what quality in a product really means. It took some time to recognise the very high quality in our products. In the Faroe Islands, fish is an everyday commodity that we’ve always taken for granted, but we didn´t understand that we have the best fish in the world! So why source your fish from some other place? It´s just a matter of thinking.

In the Nordic countries, I see an interesting development where small, local producers are starting to compete with the food industry, but in the Faroe Islands it´s not that easy. I work hard all the time to get farmers to raise their ambitions, especially with vegetables, because there are not so many around here. I even arranged a conference, trying to inspire them into developing indigenous products, but we’re only 50,000 people here, and such a small market can be risky.

We´ve had sheep here since time immemorial, but commercial lamb production was not allowed until five years ago, and the quality is fantastic. We’re also developing fowl farming with good results, but there’s always a lot of red tape. We’re moving very slowly along the road and, in five years, I think we should be approaching the same level as the other Nordic countries.

Today, Nordic chefs are aware of the quality of our produce, and we continue to win Bocuse d´Or medals. I think the New Nordic culture is here to stay, because awareness is also growing rapidly among consumers, and they’re seeking out better and better products.

So the future looks good, but I’d like to see a new governmental programme for the New Nordic Cuisine, now that they’re winding down the first one. The Ministerial Conference should have a food department, because it´s very important to keep a regional institution, supporting us across the borders to develop both our local agriculture and food culture.

New Nordic Kitchen Manifesto
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“Today, there’s no longer a discussion about using local products”

“I think the New Nordic culture is here to stay, because awareness is also growing rapidly among consumers, and they’re seeking out better and better products.”

leif soerensen
Roger Malmin

Roger Malmin

Be faithful to the produce and highlight the quality of what the local farmers deliver
Nordic cuisine is supposed to be clean, with original flavors. I see it as primary to be faithful to the produce, highlighting the quality of what the local farmers deliver: vegetables, herbs, fish – with occasional hints of what you cannot get here. Since the manifesto began to attract attention, our chefs have generally become better at exploiting niche producers. You don´t just routinely go to the big suppliers. The concept of New Nordic Food has gradually gained quite a large impact in Norway, states chef Roger Malmin.

I experienced the meeting around the manifesto as a courageous project. There was a lot of discussion before everyone ultimately came to agreement. Much revolved around Noma then, and I was quite young, 25, and thought at first it seemed hard to just hang it up on Nordic ingredients. I found it hard, for example, to imagine cooking without using lemon. But today, many successful restaurants like Noma, Fäviken and Maaemo in Oslo are faithful to the New Nordic Cuisine.

We already had a strong local profile in our restaurant, and I came home after the meeting strengthened by the discussions. We used local ingredients but mixed them with imported when quality wasn´t good enough. But I must say that local suppliers have done a tremendous job in recent years to improve quality. Today we use about 90 percent Nordic ingredients, and they are certainly good enough… but I do stick to my lemons.

The concept of New Nordic Food has gradually made quite a large impact in Norway. In the beginning there were probably many people who thought that it would only be a short-lived hype, like the hysteria surrounding El Bulli, and that normal consumers would not embrace the idea. But today there are many people, both professionals and amateurs, who actively seek out small producers to get hold of good ingredients. With this focus on quality and local food, the level is much higher.

The Norwegian food industry has at least begun to try to change their way of thinking, but they have a lot of work to do. I had many discussions with my vegetable supplier about why they deliver German onions, when it´s the onion season in Norway. German onions, of course, are cheaper per kilo. But it´s getting better. It’s not always viable to invest in local products, but that’s what our guests are asking for. My boss, Charles Tjessem, won the Bocuse d’Or in 2003. It creates expectations among the guests, but they also expect to get Norwegian food when they come to the Stavanger area. In the case of the Nordic signature I’m a little unsure, but those who are really interested in food and come on ‘pilgrimage’ from abroad, they want the fish caught here and flesh from the lambs in our meadows, and they expect it to be of top quality.

Today I see it as vital to be faithful to the produce, highlighting the quality of what the local farmers deliver – vegetables, herbs, fish – with occasional hints of what you cannot get here. The cuisine has moved towards purer flavours in recent years. Salmon should taste like salmon and not be rolled in cinnamon. It’s important to bring out the unique flavours that the region offers, such as the lambs that graze here by the sea that get a certain seaweed flavour. If you refine or transform the raw materials too much, they may feel a little estranged.

Since the manifesto began to attract attention, our chefs have generally become better at exploiting niche producers. You don´t just routinely go to the big suppliers. If you’re looking for a new cheese for the menu, you´d rather search locally first, and that’s good, because it’s hard for the small cheese producers to get distribution through the major chains. I think this will attract more and more focus, because people want purer food. It may well be organic, but nowadays, many look for origin first of all, I often hear this. You can see on the new EU labels how people are becoming more and more aware of the content in food products. And Nordic cuisine is supposed to be pure, with original flavours.

New Nordic Kitchen Manifesto
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“With this focus on quality and local food, the level is much higher”

“Today I see it as vital to be faithful to the produce, highlighting the quality of what the local farmers deliver – vegetables, herbs, fish – with occasional hints of what you cannot get here”

roger malmin
Michel Björklund

Michael Björklund

A view from Åland
The concept of New Nordic Food was really regarded as a new phenomenon in 2004, but to me it seemed quite natural. I had always worked with Nordic products and moved frequently between the Nordic countries. I was just about to move home to Åland, standing with one foot on the Finnish mainland and one in Göteborg.

The discussions in Copenhagen showed slightly different views on the Nordic concept but, having talked it over, we all felt that the manifesto statements were obvious and evident. I guess we were all moulded within the same culinary discipline.

In retrospect, I think we should have continued to meet. It’s important to be able to discuss and get along, even later in a process. In that respect, there wasn´t much happening between us, in terms of forums for meeting. If we intend to go further with the project, it’s important to complete the work. The manifesto is really something you can develop gradually and, to me, it’s very important that we, the chefs at the forefront of it all, see each other regularly.

When the manifesto was published, the world didn´t quite understand what it was all about, but eventually it spread among the people we worked with. It was a hard job to get people other than cooks to take part in the concept, and there is still a long way to go. Today the ideas are starting to feel more mature, with the growing international recognition of Nordic cuisine and our producers. More and more people feel pride in the Nordic, and that makes the concept more vigorous.

Here in Åland we now receive an incredible number of gastro-tourists, wanting to meet producers and new experiences. They are well briefed and tour Scandinavia to examine our products. In this respect, the food journalists are very important, so the public can read and hear about what is happening.

I hope that the next ten years will develop in the same way, and that discussions will follow to spread the important principles of the manifesto. In addition, an evaluation should be carried out, in order to update the manifesto in a similar forum as last time. Of course there are things that could have been done better, and new factors to take into consideration.

From my perspective, Sweden has come a long way in developing food production in general, especially the local products, while Finland is six or seven years behind. Finland is a fairly new culinary nation, and it’s taken a long time to leave its grim 20th century history of war, hardship, and lack of just about everything. For a long time, food was something to fill your stomach. In Sweden agriculture and economy were successful throughout the century, and these differences manifest themselves for a long time afterwards.

Sustainable development is important and, for Åland and the Swedish and Finnish archipelago, the quality of our products created our profile. That’s why I care so much for the producers I work with. They’re doing something unique, why else would you come to Åland? Moreover, they are friendly and welcome visitors! Watching the beets grow, patting the pig and hearing the producer´s tale adds value – and helps food culture develop. This applies in particular to our own population, which needs to realise this. It’s easy to be blind to flaws at home.

When I came back to Åland after working in Göteborg, I realised that I couldn´t call my supplier anymore and say “the parsley is bad, you’d better change it”… because it was the only parsley on the island. Instead I began to look up my old friends’ parents who were farmers, and today we have 40 small suppliers producing for us during the season. The strange thing is that, without a middle man, it’s cheaper and better for both parties. They get twice as much money from me, and I pay half the price.

Making the big food industry players keep up with this takes a lot of time. The turnover is so large, and a different way of thinking will only be important for them if it means cash flow. In addition, Finland´s largest companies are very capable of influencing government bills restricting purchase directly from producers. The political apparatus is still waiting to be updated on this.

What´s happened instead is that some smaller companies have moved into retail, emphasising storytelling and local ties. But it will take time. A major problem is that the producers, those who really work with the actual improvement in quality, are the ones who receive the least money in the chain, even though they account for the entire cost of product, energy and packaging. The Finnish greenhouse tomatoes grown in Närpes can be a good example, even if they are not particularly Nordic. The producer receives 40 cents per kilo, and achieving profitability requires an enormous facility – while the tomatoes are sold for 4 euros a kilo in the stores. Something is obviously wrong here. Maybe we need a fair trade mark for domestic production, so you´ll know the producer gets the most. Then the consumer would be able to make their own decisions: if you want to benefit the producer, buy this product. Obviously, this is a difficult process, because money controls all processes.

Things will develop faster in Sweden. There you already have the conscious consumers you require. People know what’s good food and why it costs a little more. Merchants do listen to the consumers, and the power is actually in the consumer´s hands… although it is sometimes hard to believe.

New Nordic Kitchen Manifesto
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“Here in Åland we now receive an incredible number of gastro-tourists, wanting to meet producers and new experiences”

“Sustainable development is important and, for Åland and the Swedish and Finnish archipelago, the quality of our products created our profile”

“A major problem is that the producers, those who really work with the actual improvement in quality, are the ones who receive the least money in the chain, even though they account for the entire cost of product, energy and packaging”

michel bjorklund
Hákon Már Örvarsson

Hákon Már Örvarsson

René and Claus came to Iceland when they started to work on the manifesto. At that time, I was a chef at the Vox restaurant in Reykjavik. We had just opened and focused on the local produce, so I was brought in to be part of the group around the manifesto.

It was a great honor for me, and I enjoyed it very much. When we met in Copenhagen, we visited local producers, we had some interesting lectures from people coming in, and we had this workshop. It was really professional and the start of something. Everybody had opinions about everything, so there were a lot of discussions, but in general we had converging ideas, and everybody signed. It was an intense start, in a short, brief moment.

René and Claus had put this group together, with a certain level of influence. Noma is a very inventive restaurant, where they come up with a lot of new ideas. But some chefs in the group are more up to the idea of natural cuisine, just focusing on the produce, not necessarily making things into something else, like making a herb into snow. Fine dining works that way, but if you read the manifesto it says more about the traditional local products and very little about being technically inventive on the plate.

You can make something new with the tradition, prepare it in a modern fashion, or stick to it. For me, the manifesto made me try to experiment a lot more, and so did many chefs on Iceland. It was a movement, and New Nordic Cuisine is all about how you think about your situation. You get inspired by the French, Italian, Spanish and Asian cuisine, but this movement made you think closer. What can I do with what I have? And make a natural flavor out of it.

I like to cook the local produce, quite simply: the beautiful fish or the lamb that we have. I just prepare it in a modern fashion. My business today is in the countryside of Iceland, and the foreign tourists who visit me want something local.

I have also been performing as a guest chef in USA and Canada, and there, people know much more about Nordic Cuisine today than ever before. Our restaurants get recognition, we do very well in competitions like Bocuse d´Or and the Culinary Olympics, and the phenomenon is obviously discussed among chefs.

Iceland is perhaps the least oriented country to the movement, but the manifesto meant a lot of difference for our young chefs, and recently, the first book “New Nordic Food in Iceland” was published.

But it´s not like Denmark, where you can find many places with New Nordic Cuisine.

There are much more foodies travelling to Iceland than before, and the restaurant scene has become so different in ten years. Tourism is increasing almost 15-20 % every year, new hotels pop up and quality develops all the time. Chefs are also getting better. They travel more, getting inspiration and good ideas from their colleagues.

In respect of the future, it´s all about coping with what you have and where you are. I really want to get more natural flavors from our beautiful products around the Nordic Countries. You must also try to make it more simple.

When we saw El Bulli come up, they started to make so many different things, often very complicated, and then they closed down, probably for a good reason. People are not opening this kind of restaurants today. It has to evolve a little bit.

The manifesto really put things to happen and created different thinking among our colleagues. It was necessary for putting us on the scene, and many good things happened after the manifesto came out.

New Nordic Kitchen Manifesto
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“My business today is in the countryside of Iceland, and the foreign tourists who visit me want something local”

“I really want to get more natural flavors from our beautiful products around the Nordic Countries. You must also try to make it more simple”

hakon mar orvarsson