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Icelandic Chef Gunnar Gíslason to Head Claus Meyer’s New Nordic Restaurant in New York City

(New York, NY), September 8, 2015 – Danish food entrepreneur Claus Meyer is proud to announce acclaimed Icelandic chef Gunnar Gíslason as the head chef at Meyer’s first US restaurant. The restaurant will be adjacent to a 5,000 square feet food hall located at Grand Central Terminal, which Meyer is set to open early 2016. Gíslason is best known for his critically lauded restaurant, Dill, in Reykjavík.

”Gíslason’s curious nature, together with his love for reviving traditions, using old techniques and his eye for finding pristine products, fits perfectly with the vision of this restaurant. To create a pure and wholesome kitchen with a modern Nordic flavor palate based on produce predominantly sourced in our close surroundings. We want to come up with something brand new, rooted in our history, that makes sense here and that makes sense to us,” says Meyer.

”I look forward to exploring new culinary territory and challenging myself,” says Gíslason. “The principles of the New Nordic Cuisine philosophy can be applied anywhere, as it is all about discovering the nature at hand,” he adds.

Meyer and Gíslason will work with the New York region’s distinctive and best available produce, collaborating closely with artisan farmers and suppliers. They will however bring with them a limited array of indigenous ingredients. Also they may supply the restaurant with a narrow range of seasonal signature produce from the Nordic countries. The restaurant will apply ancient techniques, common to Scandinavia, such as salting, fermenting, pickling and smoking across its menu.

Joining Gíslason, will be a stellar team including sous chef Joseph Yardley, who most recently worked as chef de cuisine for Mads Refslund at Acme restaurant in New York City; beverage manager, Jonas Andersen, former manager at Meyer’s social restaurant initiative, Gustu in Bolivia; head baker Rhonda Crosson, who has worked as a baker for Thomas Keller and held leading positions with Marcus Samuelsson and Daniel Boulud; baker and head of education Thomas Steinmann, formerly of Meyers Bageri and Meyers Madhus in Denmark; and head coffee roaster Omar Maagaard, most recently of the Coffee Collective, Estate Coffee & Copenhagen Roasters.

Both the restaurant and food hall are set to open early 2016 at Grand Central Terminal.

About Claus Meyer
Meyer is a world-renowned restaurateur and cookbook author.  Besides co-founding and co-owning Noma, which holds two Michelin stars, and launching the New Nordic Cuisine movement, he has published 14 cookbooks in his native Denmark and hosted the series “Meyer’s Kitchen” on Danish national television from 1991 to 1998 and “New Scandinavian Cooking” which in 2007-2010 were broadcasted in more than 50 countries.  Among his other business ventures Meyer co-owns several restaurants (Studio in Copenhagen established in 2013 with Torsten Vildgaard as head chef and partner recently won a Michelin star just four months after opening), bakeries and caterers, fruit and chocolate supply companies, an orchard, a vinegar factory, a salmon smoker, a coffee roastery and runs a cooking school for both kids and adults. He is an associate professor in the Department of Food Science at the University of Copenhagen as well as an adjunct professor at the Institute for Corporate Social Responsibility at Copenhagen Business School. He was recently appointed “Social Impact Fellow” at The Hass School of Business, University of California, Berkeley.

Meyer is the founder and main sponsor of the Melting Pot Foundation which runs food schools in Danish prisons, and in 2013 he opened a gourmet Restaurant Gustu, in the poorest capital of South America, La Paz Bolivia and, soon will be running 13 canteens, in the slums of the El Alto district. Gustu and the canteens function as an educational institution overseen by the foundation.

Claus Meyer has recently relocated to New York City with his wife, his three daughters and two dogs, with the purpose of establishing a food hall and restaurant rooted in the new Nordic culinary philosophy to be located in Vanderbilt Hall at Grand Central Terminal.

About Gunnar Gíslason
Gunnar Gíslason opened Restaurant Dill in Reykjavík in 2009. His contemporary cooking, which celebrates Iceland’s pristine ingredients and artisanal producers, has garnered international acclaim and media. Dill has been nominated for the Nordic Prize and has won Iceland’s “Restaurant of the Year” every year since it opened.

Prior to opening Dill, Gíslason worked as executive chef at VOX in Reykjavík where he used distinctive Icelandic ingredients on the menu and introduced the principles of the New Nordic Cuisine. He also worked in Copenhagen for several years at Saison, where chef Erwin Lauterbach became a big influence, as well as Kommandanten and Ensemble, which both garnered two Michelin stars.

In 2012 Gunnar joined forces with the highly social Kex Hostel and he has been the head of quality control at Kex Hostel’s restaurant Sæmundur í Sparifötunum.  Shortly after he started his work for Kex Hostel he moved Dill to the center of Reykjavík and opened a restaurant at Hverfisgata 12 and Mikkeller & Friends Reykjavík in 2014 along with Danish craft breweries Mikkeller and To Øl. Ólafur Ágústsson, the food and beverage manager of Sæmundur í Sparifötunum, will be taking his place as the man on the ground at Sæmundur í Sparifötunum, Hverfisgata 12 and Mikkeller & Friends.

In 2014, together with Jody Eddy, Gíslason published his cookbook “NORTH – The New Nordic Cuisine of Iceland”, both a recipe book and a culinary odyssey giving an unprecedented look into the food and culture of Iceland.



Jennifer Baum
Bullfrog + Baum
(+1) 212 255-6717

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