Interview: Claus Meyer, food visionary and philanthropist

Chef, author, television personality, catalyst for social and culinary change, businessman and philanthropist Claus Meyer co-founded Noma Restaurant in Copenhagen, Denmark over ten years ago—which has been ranked the best restaurant in the world four times.

Claus now operates cooking schools for members of economically challenged communities in New York as well as in Bolivia, and recently opened the Great Northern Food Hall and the restaurant Agern (Acorn) in Grand Central Station, New York to positive reviews. He may now be coming full circle by considering a venture in France, the country where he was first inspired by food. He recently visited the town of Blaye (prounced “bl-YE”) in the Bordeaux region of France to scope out what may become his latest restaurant venture in the soon to be renovated Grand Bellevue Hotel near the waterfront of the Gironde Estuary. At a buffet with live music in La Galerie Restaurant, Claus met with residents of Blaye to discuss his visions for change.

“ Give the older people something to pass onto the kids so that they wouldn’t just be dreaming of hamburguesas from America. We had two core initiatives. One was the movement itself where we gathered more than 200 organizations around something we called MIGA [Manifesto of the Movement for Gastronomic Integration within Bolivia]. We created a following, a movement, and we orchestrated the formulation of a common national manifesto for the revitalization of the Bolivian food culture. People from four different regions signed up.” Claus Meyer.

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