NOMA and a Food Manifesto
A key milestone in Meyer’s project was the opening of Noma in Copenhagen in 2003. It has the honor of having been named the world’s best restaurant four times. In 2004, at Meyer’s initiative, twelve celebrity chefs from various Scandinavian countries published a Food Manifesto. The aim of the manifesto was to start cooperating with local farmers, and to establish agricultural traditions and sustainable and environmentally friendly conditions for production, with a view to giving Scandinavian cuisine its own unique and distinctive identity. It was a major step toward changing Scandinavian eating habits for the better.
To put the issue at the top of consumers’ minds, a pop-up store selling fresh bread was opened at a Danish festival. It reintroduced the Danes to fresh, home-baked bread. The whole concept was promoted with the slogan “More salt and less yeast.”
Social integration projects
But a new food culture knows no bounds. Meyer founded the nonprofit organization Melting Pot Foundation with the aim of improving quality of life for vulnerable communities. Meyer and the organization worked closely with the Danish prison service to develop a reentry program. As part of the program, he taught cookery to inmates in prison.
He launched his first project outside Denmark with the Melting Pot Foundation in La Paz (Bolivia), where he opened the restaurant Gustu four years ago, which is one of the 17 best restaurants in Latin America. There, he has taken on the task of teaching young Bolivians with poor training opportunities how to cook and bake. Meyer has also opened a cookery school, bakery, and a community restaurant in Brownsville, Brooklyn.
In his roles as Associate Professor at the Department of Food Science at the University of Copenhagen, and Adjunct Professor at the Institute for Corporate Social Responsibility at the Copenhagen Business School, Claus Meyer is passing his extensive knowledge of the culinary arts on to the next generation.
As his career illustrates, Claus Meyer is not short of ideas for improving eating habits. We cannot wait to see what he will come up with in the future to get world eating habits on the right track.