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I recently organized a very small Scandinavian food summit with a total attendance of three: myself (a Norwegian), our fantastic intern Cecilia Knutsson (a born-and-raised Swede) and chef Claus Meyer (who's as Danish as they come). Meyer is already a very big deal in Scandinavia, where he’s helping chefs work together to develop what they call the “New Nordic Kitchen,” which he emodies in his own North Atlantic restaurant, Noma. Now he’s becoming a big deal in the U.S.: He’s the host of PBS’s New Scandinavian Cooking, the author of a new cookbook (the English translation will arrive next spring) and the brains behind Nordisk, a new line of Scandinavian products—pickles, vinegars, relishes, syrups and jams—that he hopes will introduce Americans to North Atlantic flavors. (They're available at East Coast Whole Foods stores right now).
Meyer's vision for New Nordic cuisine is significantly more colorful than the beige Scandivavian foods I grew up eating: preserved fish, muesli, geitost and—only under duress—lutefisk. "There are so many kinds of berries that are unique to Scandinavia," Meyers says, thanking the cool, Nordic summer. "And other fruits, like apples and strawberries, taste very different in there than they do in other parts of the world." I, for one, am very excited to experience New Nordic. Just don't tell my family.