New Nordic Cuisine in USA


The cooking traditions and innovations of the Nordic region have captured the attention of the world and inspired chefs and home cooks alike. In 2004 the Nordic Food Manifesto articulated a set of values for approaching food through the lenses of local production, seasonality, tradition, and innovation, among others. Now you may experience new Nordic cuisine in USA.

The manifesto and reactions to it have sparked a robust dialog about food culture, both in the Nordic countries and around the world. The Museum of Danish America will launch a national traveling exhibition in 2019 that presents Nordic food culture in the 21st century.

New Nordic Cuisine in USA
Food served at Fossheim hotel, Norway, photo: Tina Stafren

Related: The Scandinavian Demon Drink

This project will follow the success of the exhibition “Skål! Scandinavian Spirits”, launched in 2015 and continues to travel to museums across the United States. Focusing on Nordic food trends of the past 20 years, this exhibition will explore both traditional food and contemporary innovation, local production and global reach, restaurant culture and home cooking.

The Influence of New Nordic Cuisine
“The influence of New Nordic Cuisine can be seen in restaurants, farm-to-table efforts, and public policy around environment, agriculture, and nutrition. The 21st century has seen an evolution in Nordic food culture that focuses increasingly on regional producers, seasonal ingredients, sustainable food systems, and modern nutrition science. This movement reflects Nordic values of caring for the environment, promoting the health and wellbeing of all citizens, and celebrating the unique natural and cultural resources of the Nordic region,” writes Michael Tetzschner, president of the Nordic Council.

New Nordic Cuisine in USA
Various appetizers served at Kirkeby kro, Genne, Denmark

Related: New Nordic Kitchen

New Nordic Cuisine in USA
In addition to the museum gallery version of this exhibition, a pop-up banner version will be created and available for a wide range of venues: cultural clubs, festivals, educational institutions, and others. This exhibition will provide ample opportunities for related programming at host venues and in community partners like restaurants, culinary centers, and farm-to-fork initiatives.

Potential programs include:

  • The Nordic Museum’s “Nordic Food Conference” in 2021
  • Theme dinners hosted at Scandinavian-style restaurants
  • Cooking workshops, demonstrations, and hands-on classes
New Nordic Cuisine in USA
Tova Brandt, lead curator Museum of Danish America

The launch of a Nordic Cuisine series, Nordic Cuisine Video Channel will include videos on a dedicated YouTube channel that will accompany and amplify the exhibition. The channel will upload new content throughout the exhibition tour, expected to total 60 episodes through 2022.

Related: Norwegian Food Traditions – A Living Museum in Oslo

Tour itinerary 2019-2022
iowa  Museum of Danish America: June 22, 2019 – January 6, 2020
Philadelphia America Swedish Historical Museum: January 25, 2020 – August 23, 2020
Minneapolis Norway House: September 11, 2020 – November 9, 2020
Nordic Museum: Fall 2020 – May 2021
Iowa Vesterheim Norwegian American Museum: June 2021 – October 2021 fall 2020 – May 2021 Minnesota Hjemkomst Heritage Center:  november 15, 2021 – March 7, 2022

New Nordic Cuisine in USA is based on New Nordic Cuisine Prospectus written by Tova Brandt, lead curator Museum of Danish America. At MoDA she is responsible for long-term, temporary, traveling, and virtual exhibitions. Prior to her position in Elk Horn, she was several years Curator for Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum in Decorah, Iowa. Tova is a graduate of Bryn Mawr College and the Winterthur Program in American Material Culture (University of Delaware).

Feature image (on top): Blue-fin tuna, purple radsih, myoga with salted tomato vinaigrette served at Frantzen, Stockholm.