Washington raised chef, Daniel Giusti will be giving up his position at one of the world’s best restaurants, Copenhagen’s Noma, to launch a new company that will service school cafeterias in the District of Columbia.

Giusti, who has held the position as chef de cuisine at Noma for the past three years, told The Columbian that it was head chef and owner of Noma, Rene Redzepi, that encouraged him to make the leap.

“He’s young, but he has sort of this old soul to him. He’s way too mature for his age,” Redzepi told The Columbian. “He’s just a very natural leader (who) is not afraid of making decisions.”

Giusti’s new company, Brigaid, will aim to build whole new kitchens or improve existing ones at schools and then hire professional chefs to run them on a full time basis. The kitchen will serve up good quality, healthy food at affordable prices, replacing the current food offerings which traditionally consist of salt-heavy, mass produced meals made offsite and finished in-house.

Giusti has engaged Sam Kass, a former White House senior policy advisor for nutrition policy and qualified chef, for advice on how to tackle the various hurdles that the complex US school food service sector presents, namely limited budgets, tough nutritional standards and long-term contracts with established providers.

“There’s a host of challenges that make it very, very difficult,” says Kass. “But at the same time, there’s a culture of thinking in the school nutrition world that is a problem in itself.”

“This is a huge undertaking and a risky undertaking, but for me this is worth it,” adds Giusti. “I have no problem giving it all I’ve got, and if I fail, I fail.”

Guisti hopes to have a pilot program in place with a school district by mid to late 2016.

Redzepi announced in July 2015 that he will be bringing Copenhagen's Noma to Sydney for 10 weeks in early 2016. Noma Australia will seat just 50 people and will be located within the Anadara residential building of the new $6 billion Barangaroo precinct in Sydney.


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