Danish star chef and restaurateur Claus Meyer, co-owner of Noma, is opening his next New York project in Brownsville, according to DNAinfo. Meyer's nonprofit The Melting Pot Foundation, which has opened restaurants and culinary schools teaching prisoners and marginalized youth how to cook, will be debuting an outpost at 69 Belmont Ave. in a former 99-cent store. The school will offer free cooking classes to local residents, while a 40-seat restaurant and 10-seat cafe will serve food from Brownsville, though it's unclear what that will look like, the program's organizers tell DNAinfo. It's set to open this year.
The restaurant and school is one of several projects Meyer is launching in New York. He's planning a Nordic food hall in Grand Central later this year, and baked goods from Meyers Bageri will soon be fully available in a storefront in Williamsburg. His previous restaurant attached to a school, Gustu in La Paz, Bolivia, has gone on to much acclaim. The restaurant only uses ingredients from Bolivia, and though it's run by Danish chefs, it employs and trains local youth. The high-end restaurant is considered one of the best in Latin America.
Like La Paz, Brownsville was partly chosen for its struggles in access to healthy food, the school's managers tell DNAinfo. It has a high rate of heart disease and diabetes, and access to fresh vegetables is slim. Though Gustu has become known as destination dining, The Melting Pot Foundation is aiming to make the to-be-named Brownsville restaurant affordable to people in the neighborhood.
"We knew that if we were to develop a restaurant, as had been requested by the neighborhood," organizer Lucas Denton says, "the wrong thing to do would be to appeal to people from outside the neighborhood." Applications are open to apply to be in the yearlong culinary program, for Brownsville residents aged 18 to 24. Eater has reached out to the Meyer team for more information on what the new restaurant will be like. Stay tuned for more information as it becomes available.