Another fun and successful annual Christmas event was enjoyed by some 600 guests on December 9th and 10th. This year marks the 10th anniversary of Creative Christmas at the Danish Embassy in the US. The atmosphere was festive and displayed Danish culture at its best.
This year the theme was Healthy Living: Healthy Body, Healthy Mind
The Danish lifestyle is famous for being healthy and balanced. The famous biking culture gives exercise while reducing carbon emissions. Biking combined with the Danish model of increasing use of renewable energy ensures clean air – important in reducing and lessening the impact of certain illnesses: like asthma, other respiratory illnesses and cancer. In terms of food, Danes are highly focused on organic farming and a farm-to-table culture. Denmark’s largest food and agricultural companies are owned by farmers and based on the cooperative movement that has made Danish farming so successful. Moreover, over the last two decades, Denmark has been part of the development of the Nordic Kitchen and the rise of several chefs that are not only very talented but also world renowned.
Regarding renowned chefs, Claus Meyer and his team set the menu this year, prepared delicacies and arranged a baking station for the evening. Claus Meyer is the co-owner/founder of Noma (formally the number one restaurant in the world) and founded the New Nordic Cuisine movement. He has written numerous cookbooks and hosted a television cooking program shown in fifty countries.
Meyer is also a philanthropist – founding and supporting the Melting Pot Foundation which runs food schools in Danish prisons. Two years ago 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 in order to establish a food hall and restaurant rooted in the new Nordic culinary philosophy to be located in Vanderbilt Hall at Grand Central Terminal.
For Creative Christmas, the Embassy’s new chef, Jens Fisker, worked with three chefs from the Meyer team to produce an innovative and scrumptious offering. The menu was created by Claus Meyer for the event. It included: Deer tartare and lingon berries; Salmon; Cold smoked salmon with beetroot tartar and smoked creamed cheese; warm Roast Pork Sandwiches with crackling skin, pickled red cabbage and raw apple; Brisket Sandwich with red onion relish and winter salads. There was a cheese station with Arla cheeses and Rhonda’s special cheese bread. Dessert was a special twist on the traditional Danish Christmas rice pudding: Pearl Barley Ris a la Mande style with cherry sauce and a Meyer Lemon sauce.
Shelton Brothers again supplied special Danish beers: including, Amager Hr. Frederiksen, Amager Rye Porter, Mikkeller Santa Little, Mikkeller Drink’ in the Snow, Mikkeller Arh Hvad? Mikkeller Not Just another Wit, Mikkeller Better Half IPA, To Øl Snow Ball Saison, To Øl Nordic By Nature, and To Øl Sur Yule.
The residence was decorated by the Danish fiber artist Grethe Wittrock. Wittrock displayed pieces made of recycled material with a series of bird-like fiber objects and wall hangings.
Wittrock’s work has been exhibited throughout the world in cities such as Copenhagen, London, Munich, Hong-Kong, Paris, Sao Paolo, and Kyoto. She has won numerous international awards, including multiple grants from the Danish Art Foundation.
Music was provided by Langkilde /Matza Duo. Johannes Langkilde, Danish correspondent in Danish-American foreign affairs and musician, played piano. His partner Louis Matza was on guitar. The duo played a variety of smooth jazz music to set the ambience for a festive and relaxed evening.
SOME (So Others Might Eat) is a well-established soup kitchen serving the most vulnerable residents of Washington. Guests were encouraged to bring gift cards and information was included in the gift bags given to guests. The embassy has also donated six tickets to attend Creative Christmas for SOMEs annual fundraising Gala Silent Auction held at the National Building Museum. www.some.org
As always our Sponsors made another Creative Christmas possible and should be thanked accordingly. A huge thank you to:
Lockheed Martin, Mærsk, Haldor Topsoe, GE, Harris, Systematic, Novo Nordisk, Terma, Boeing and
Pictures of ADBC members at CC 2015