Nordic Food Diplomacy in Washington D.C


New Nordic Food is conquering still more countries around the world with its manifestation of local, sustainable and seasonal ingredients in new and innovative dishes.

These days Nordic Food Diplomacy is being practised in Washington in the run-up to the major cultural festival Nordic Cool in the Kennedy Center. The John F. Kennedy Center is a cultural centre in the American seat of government with theatres, stages and restaurants.

Nordic Food Diplomacy is part of the New Nordic Food programme which the Nordic Council of Ministers has been running for six years. When the Nordic countries promote themselves abroad they are encouraged to use the NFD programme to ensure that culture, and in particular food, become an integrated part of official meetings and receptions. In the first instance, Nordic Food Diplomacy is directed at the Nordic embassies abroad.

Amongst other things, the website is used to present the ideas behind Nordic Food Diplomacy in English, with an idea bank, tips for colleagues from embassy chefs and inspiration to chefs who would like to work with Nordic ingredients, present innovate dishes and also think Nordic appeal in serving and culture. Nordic politics often stand for high ethical standards and consideration for the environment, which are in keeping with the New Nordic Food manifest.

"It is important to think of food as an enhancement of Nordic culture, as it is communicated through Nordic Cool", says Charlotta Ranert, Project Manager for Nordic Food Diplomacy under New Nordic Food.

At the Nordic Cool event in Washington these ideas will be tested in practice, especially when the Swedish chef Malin Söderström, in partnership with the Kennedy Center's restaurant chef Joe Gurner, runs a workshop for the center's chefs. They will be introduced to quality, sustainability and local ingredients, and the ideas behind New Nordic Food by preparing a three-course Nordic menu which Malin has designed especially for the festival. During the entire festival the restaurant in the Kennedy Center will serve the same Nordic dinner for its guests. And the Center's café will have Nordic specialities on its menu. Even the drinks served at Nordic Cool will have a Nordic character.

Malin Söderström, who normally runs MoMuMat, Moderna Museet's popular restaurant in Stockholm, is an excellent communicator. She was the first female chef to be responsible for the Nobel dinner in 2011. She took part in Nordic Food Diplomacy's 2012 event when Nordic chefs visited Tokyo, and this year Malin was responsible for the Chef of the Year dinner in Sweden for 1100 guests.

Malin Söderström will also run the kick-off inspiration workshop for the Nordic embassy chefs and other staff in Washington. The embassy staff will be gathered to inspire one another and to create an exchange of experiences, to get ideas for the many side-events at Nordic Cool. At the kick-off workshop, Charlotta Ranert, Project Manager at Nordic Food Diplomacy, will talk about the work that went into creating the website, and will introduce the site's idea bank, which supports the embassies by integrating food in their profiling and marketing.

The Nordic Cool festival coincides with a number of political and cultural visits from the Nordic countries. The Nordic ministers of culture and the directors of several theatres and cultural institutions are coming to Washington. The Swedish Minister for Trade, Ewa Björling, and her ministerial colleagues and the ambassadors will meet for lunch, and climate and biodiversity will be discussed when the Swedish Minister for Agriculture, Eskil Erlandsson, is the host.

The idea behind Nordic Food Diplomacy is that all meetings, workshops and other events with a Nordic background will also involve the serving of Nordic food and drink as part of the experience and the meeting with Nordic culture. This New Nordic Food initiative was made possible thanks to collaboration with the Embassy of Sweden in Washington D.C., which plays a co-ordinating role with the other Nordic embassies and the J. F. Kennedy Center in relation to Nordic Cool.

More information:

Nordic Cool Cuisine programme
Nordic Food Diplomacy
Follow the updates from Nordic Cool on New Nordic Food Facebook-page
Project manager, Nordic Food Diplomacy Charlotta Ranert, +46737181318,

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