Though Claus Meyer opened one of Europe's most famous restaurants, lately his mind is on New York. The Noma cofounder is about to launch a Nordic food hall in Grand Central Terminal. He's set to open an outlet of his Danish bakery, Meyers Bageri, in Williamsburg. And, we've just learned, he's planning something big in a very different part of the city. As DNAinfo reports, the Michelin-honored restaurateur hopes to build a restaurant and cooking school in Brownsville, Brooklyn.
The project came about when Meyer met Lucas Denton of NYC's Commission for Human Rights in line at a bakery. Meyer wanted to do nonprofit work and Denton was keenly tuned into the needs of struggling areas like Brownsville, which just a few years ago Time named one of New York's most dangerous neighborhoods. It was a natural fit, and now Denton is running the U.S. operations of Meyer's Melting Pot Foundation. The school is set to open this year and will offer free culinary classes to Brownsville locals, with graduates receiving a food handler's license. The 40-seat restaurant will serve an affordable menu that's "representative of the traditional cuisine of the neighborhood," Denton told DNAinfo.
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This isn't a totally new sort of project for Meyer. He saw tremendous success in La Paz, Bolivia, with a similar school and a restaurant that is now considered among the best in Latin America. Applications for the Brownsville project's first year-long session are will be accepted on an ongoing basis.