In October 2011, the 5 winners of Nordic Innovation's competition for young chefs, travelled to Washington DC to make Nordic food to 30,000 American school children. Watch the movie to follow the young chefs on their journey to the US.
Win a trip to Washington DC, and help prepare healthy food for 30,000 Public School students. Work with a team of mentors. Test your skills. Meet young people. Cook at a Nordic embassy. Be an intern at one of the top restaurants in Washington.
These were the first lines of the ad that marked the beginning of the competition Nordic Food in DC Schools. Among the participants from all the Nordic countries, the following winners were selected:
Maggi Jirayut Andrésson, 22, Iceland
Magnus Westling, 21, Sweden
Hannah Nilsson, 20, Sweden
Evelina Bravenius, 18, Sweden
Kristine Ildjarnstad, 18, Sweden
Back home again, Magnus Westling described his adventure like this:
I study Culinary Arts and Ecology at Örebro University in Sweden and work as a chef at Wij Trädgårdar in the summer. At the time when I saw the competition on Twitter I was really eager to get more experience in food-related activities. In this particular competition I also had the opportunity to share my own knowledge and experience from the University.
In Washington, us Nordic young chefs both worked in kitchens and got to talk to the passionate people demanding better food in schools. We experienced a whole spectrum of complications when the interest is to serve good, tasty and healthy food for the school kids. This certain experience was really important because we now know the contrasts between how different systems can be and this in turn enables us to keep up the good and develop the bad.
The far greatest experience was to meet all the great people involved in this, it was a huge experience and I'm so thankful to be a part of it. Thank you!
Watch the movie to follow Magnus Westling and the other young chefs on their journey to the US:
The contest was a part of the cooperation between the Nordic Embassies in the US and Nordic Innovation, which teaches North Americans about healthy, Nordic food.
Melita Ringvold Hasle, at that time working as Communications Manager at Nordic Innovation and being responsible for the project, says that it is about showing Nordic traditions and the value of a healthy diet to American children and youth.
- The branding of Nordic food culture abroad mainly revolves around gourmet experiences. We wanted to do something completely new that is addressed to an entirely different audience. As most of the Nordic countries have a tradition for serving food in schools, we meant it was a good idea to focus on these school meals.