the meal as manifesto


Around the time of Noma’s opening, Redzepi and Meyer, along with other young chefs, drafted a New Nordic cuisine manifesto (because you simply can’t have a movement without a manifesto). They called for, among other things, “purity, freshness, simplicity, and ethics,” much like an earlier influential Danish artistic movement with a manifesto, the Dogme 95 film movement led by Lars von Trier. The New Nordic chefs promoted the sole use of seasonal, Scandinavian ingredients—which meant, for instance, no olive oil, no lemons and no pasta—and a return to traditional Scandinavian techniques such as pickling, smoking, curing and fermenting. The idea was to force creativity by setting limitations. Here’s how New Nordic cuisine came to be identified: Ingredients such as sea-buckthorn or Douglas fir or gooseberries or deep-fried moss; cellared or slow-cooked vegetables and under-ripe fruit; dishes served on pieces of wood, rocks, seashells and tree branches; a focus on fish and veggies, rather than meat.

more from Jason Wilson at Table Matters here.