Nils Norén

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Nils Norén (born c. 1967) is a chef and culinary educator based in New York City, where he holds the position of Vice President of Culinary and Pastry Arts at The French Culinary Institute. He also writes for the blog Cooking Issues, and he is a contributing authority for Food Arts magazine. He is regarded as a leader[citation needed] among chefs who embrace the use of new culinary techniques and scientific thinking in the kitchen to enhance traditional cooking methods (though he eschews the use of the term "molecular gastronomy").

Culinary background[edit]

Norén was born in Stockholm, Sweden. He grew up in Gävle, where he attended culinary school. Norén traces his love for food back to being drawn to reading cookbooks at the age of 10. "I remember tasting flour before making cookie dough and how it was fascinating that the cookies actually tasted delicious after other ingredients were added to the plain flour before baking." Raised in a large family, Norén was able to watch his mother cook his family "a lot of food, all the time." [1]

Norén held positions in some of Sweden’s top restaurants before moving to New York City. He served as the coordinator of cooking classes at Restaurant Akademin in Stockholm, was Executive Chef at Restaurant Riche, and Chef de Cuisine at Restaurant KB.

In 1998, Norén was hired as Chef de Cuisine at Restaurant Aquavit restaurant in New York City. From 2003-2006, he served as Executive Chef.

More recently Noren has worked with Marcus Samuelson and his MSG Group (including Red Rooster Haarlem ) acting as Director of Operations and overseeing culinary development and projects, including the new Samuelsons Restaurant in Bermuda at the Hamilton Princess Hotel to be designed by New Yorks Parts and Labor Design Studio.

In 2015 Norén left MSG to form Absolute Culinary by Asil in which he is both a Founder and Culinary Director. He now focusses on creating and executing Restaurant Concepts globally and advising on operations within the F&B Hospitality space.

Recent achievements[edit]

In 2006, he was hired to oversee the programs at The French Culinary Institute. His responsibilities include overseeing the day-to-day operations of The FCI's various programs and teaching classes in sous-vide and high-tech cooking.

In a 2008 survey by Time Out magazine of 40 top New York chefs, Norén was voted "The chef that should have gotten an award by now, but hasn't." [2]

In 2008 and 2009, Norén was invited to participate in the Glass House Conversations, an annual series of salons attended by artists, designers, and other creative thought leaders at the Philip Johnson Glass House in New Canaan, CT. For these occasions, Norén created tasting menus that played off the themes chosen for discussion (like "Breaking the Rules" and Attention Span). He has also been a presenter at Star Chef’s International Chefs Congress.

In 2009, Norén competed on an episode of Bravo’s Top Chef Masters, which aired July 15, with Rick Moonen, Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson, and Michael Chiarello (who was declared the winner).

Since May 2009, Norén has been, with Dave Arnold, one of the authors behind the Cooking Issues blog, discussing developments in the Culinary Technology department of The French Culinary Institute.