Joy in the House of Meals
News Fifteen years ago, the idea of a House of Meals (Måltidets Hus) was first introduced. The house has now opened, staffed with creative and knowledgeable persons within the various sections of the food world.
Fifteen years ago, the idea of a House of Meals (Måltidets Hus) was first introduced. The house has now opened, staffed with creative and knowledgeable persons within the various sections of the food world.
For Helge Bergslien, managing director of Nofima Norconserv AS, this is a fantastic feast day. He was one of the initiators to the project fifteen years ago, and has fought for its establishment through all these years.
From gastronomy and science to industry and passion
In her opening speech, Minister of Fisheries and Coastal Affairs Helga Pedersen emphasised that this house will be important for the entire country, and that she has great expectations.
Måltidets Hus is built on four pillars of knowledge: Gastronomy, Science, Industry and Passion, which will fortify the Norwegian food and meals industry. At the opening, the Minister appointed one ambassador for each pillar.
Research Director Einar Risvik of Nofima Mat was appointed the ambassador for Science. Group Director Stein Øiom from dairy giant Time will represent the Industry. The ambassador of Gastronomy will be Harald Osa from the Norwegian Food Foundation. Ingrid Espelid Hovig (television chef and cookbook author, often called "Norway’s Julia Child") will be the ambassador for Passion.
Guided through a meal
This is a house both for "green food" (from the earth) and "blue food" (from the sea), and this was wonderfully visualized in several ways during the opening. All the guides of the day, who usually work in the various businesses and organisations in the house, were dressed in the colours of green and blue. The guided tour through the house was set up as a tour through a meal, while we were served "bluegreen courses on the go".
Composing meals involves assembling a number of components, and these were shown to us in the same order as in the house slogan. Our tour started with the chefs at Gastronomisk Institutt and continued down to the scientific bit – the kitchen laboratory, the main laboratory where studies are carried out on subjects such as heat treatment and packaging, and on to the sensory laboratory.
Next up were the rooms where consumer testing is carried out. There are four different "environment rooms" where test persons can eat in different environments, one "observation room" where eating situations can be observed through a mirror window, and an auditorium. The final stop of the tour was the VIP restaurant "Hos Ingrid" (Chez Ingrid), where our passion could be fulfilled.
Enthusiasm coupled with competence
Many of the central actors in food expertise in the county of Rogaland are gathered in Måltidets Hus, and the enthusiasm among the "residents" is notable.
Research Manager at Nofima Mat, Morten Sivertsvik, is pleased with the excellent research facilities, the possibility of synergistic effects through closer cooperation and competence exchange, and not the least the house itself as a national meeting place for the food industry.
Anne Siri Høiland, General Manager of business cluster NCE Culinology, expresses her delight at the fact that so much expertise has been gathered in one house, and feels that it will be a great advantage to have a shorter distance between researchers and consumers, the industry and the chefs. R&D Manager of dairy giant Tine, Johanne Brendehaug, couldn’t agree more.
"It’s so inspiring to work in a house with such an excellent working environment, the latest technical equipment and the best expertise," says Brendehaug. "We’ve already used the canteen, which seats 700 people, for testing new products."
The national status of the house is important to many of the guests who were present at the opening, and what better way to end this article than with Ingrid Espelid Hovig’s concluding admonition: "Everyone in this house must remain good friends."