Originally Posted by Ishbel
Much the same in Scotland.
We have many chefs who have always used local produce (whether meat, fish or vegetables) - see people like Nick Nairn, Martin Wishart, Tom Kitchin. ALL of them insist on locally produced foods, and many of them choose organically grown foodstuffs too.
It's not really about local though, it's a sense of place more than anything.
The Nordic countries have a lot of differences and there is a lot of distance between some of them, but they also have a lot in common: clean air, pine forests, lakes, an attitude that tends towards purity and simplicity. The food is supposed to represent these - and the choice of produce is not about being the most local but about each item being the best one from the entire region at showing these qualities. This is where the idea of terroir comes in - Gotland lamb, for example, tastes of the sea air and the herbs that spring from the rich chalk soil that they eat, you really can tell it apart from lamb elsewhere in the region and it does show off the qualities that are being looked for.
Using Noma as an example, Iceland is not near to Denmark but they feel there are still products from there that can best contribute to the feeling they are trying to portray.
I'm really wondering how this sort of idea would be applied to the US, what people would see as the kind of regions that have an atmospheric or cultural identity, what that identity is, whether they have produce that could be made to fit this identity and whether the same kind of ethos would be achievable. Also I'm wondering whether the fairly broadminded attitude towards different/forgotten plants and herbs would be accepted.
I'm going to give an example from the UK: Paul Foster, the chef at Tuddenham Mill is using a lot of these ideas to represent the fields, waterways and hedgerows of the East Anglia countryside.