“I don’t want people to feel like they are in Copenhagen, I want them to feel like they are in the countryside. We don’t want food to be too meddled around with and manipulated with. We want people to feel close to where all the products come from. Of course we have a focus on everything local and seasonal because nature’s just right outside our windows.”
To welcome in our third season, we’re in great company with Claus Meyer, a culinary entrepreneur known for creating the “New Nordic Food Movement” - where he has inspired a new generation to rediscover local and sustainable produce through his world-renowned restaurants, cookbooks, TV shows, cooking schools, nonprofits and community events alike.
Growing up visiting Hotel Saxkjøbing in his homeland Lolland, Denmark, Claus made it his personal mission to restore this 200 year old gathering place to its former glory for townsfolk and distinguished guests alike. Today guests can experience a “Taste of the Seasons” through every touchpoint - from the flowers in the rooms to the communal weekday dinners, from the stone fruit at the farmstand to the town festivals taking place outside the hotel’s doorsteps.
In this episode, Claus shares how his past sparked a passion for finding ways in which food can bring about happiness, and a purpose in bringing people together to celebrate those moments.
[2:00] How an early childhood of canned food and microwaved meals in rural Denmark - led to an extended stay, an appreciation for terroir, and a passion for cooking in Gascony, France - before calling Claus home inspired to use “deliciousness as a weapon against unhappiness.”
[7:50] Who and what inspired Claus to have “an appetite for dreaming big” which we all now know today as the New Nordic Cuisine movement.
[10:20] How Noma was never intended to be “The Best Restaurant In The World,” rather a food lab to explore the potential of local ingredients.
[19:25] Claus explains his approach to building new ideas, new projects - from restaurants to cookbooks, TV shows to cooking schools, food production companies to non-profits, that can stand on their own without his intervention.
[23:15] The 215 year old history of Hotel Saxkjøbing in being one of the first royally recognized inns in Denmark, to being a home away from home for Claus during his childhood, to recently being given the opportunity to return it to its former glory.
[28:20] The small countryside town of Sakskøbing, is surrounded by stone-fruit farms, historical castles, scenic fjords, and dense forests to explore.
[34:30] From floral decorated dining rooms to communal dinners for guests and townspeople alike, from the cooking school and farm stand across the street to festivals celebrating the season’s bounty, how and why food is a focal point of this hotel and its town.
[44:00] What’s to come from Hotel Saxkjøbing from live musical performances to the opening of a micro-bakery collaboration with a notable Copenhagen baker.
- The Melting Pot Foundation
- Sakskøbing Madhus Food School
- Sydhavsøernes Fruit Festival
- Apple Flower Festival
- Madens Folkemøde “The Food People’s Meeting”
- Nykøbing FC