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Danish non-profit organisation MAD has just announced that it will set up a permanent education centre named tentatively the Gastro-Akademi in Copenhagen.
The centre will allow Denmark to take the lead in chef-led solutions both in the restaurant industry and in food supply in general. Food supply, security and agriculture are all facing new and significant challenges in the near future and MAD recognises that chefs, who are at the top of their particular ‘food chain’ are uniquely placed the instigate change in a variety of sectors.
MAD, which means ‘Food’ in Danish was set up by Rene Redzepi is held in Denmark every two years and draws chefs, academics and activists from all over the world to explore new avenues for sustainability, gender equality, waste reduction, as well as workshops demonstrations.
The tone of voice regarding food has become increasingly urgent in recent years and it has become clear that more action needs to be taken to protect food sources and to avert climate catastrophe. The permanent MAD education centre is some way off being built but two groups of chefs, activists and farmers will meet in for pilot programmes in Copenhagen comprised of five-day immersion workshops to brainstorm the future direction for the project.
The Gastro-Akademi is being funded with government money, about €3.37 million in seed money for the academy will come directly from the Ministry of Environment and Food of Denmark, as part of their Gastro 2025, a multiagency programme designed to make the Scandinavian country a world leader in food systems in areas like green energy and alternative transportation. The government is keen to capitalise on the New Nordic movement that has pushed Denmark to the pinnacle of the culinary world, with chefs like Rasmus Kofoed and René Redzepi widely regarded as some of the best in the world.
"The work begins now" said the MAD organisation in a press release. "With this new funding, we will begin planning and designing the Academy and its course of study. Later this year, we’ll be hosting two intensive pilot programs to begin shaping our curriculum with an eye on the future, when we will accept applicants for immersive courses focused on topics such as leadership and management, environmental sustainability, and how to run a successful business."