Caus Meyer, clenching a tremendous blender in his arms, rushes out his Chelsea townhouse, down West 24th Street, into the underground and on board the A train. Always eagerly two steps ahead and speed-talking as if his voice was on fast forward: “This project is gargantuan, it’s crazy, so intense,” he shouts as we rattle through the boisterous subway system deep below Manhattan, mapping out his American venture. “I’m climbing a mountain at Formula One speed. And New York City feels like a monster waiting for me to stumble, so it can blend me and have me for dinner.”
He sounds equally excited and anxious, balancing somewhere between the famous and highly contagious Meyer enthusiasm and a deep concern that his next flagship will sink anytime. The world-renowned restaurateur and prolific food entrepreneur recently sold most of his Danish businesses and activities to a private equity for a double-digit million dollar figure and is now taking a giant leap into the most com- petitive culinary scene in the world, New York City. This spring he is opening a Nordic fine dining restaurant and food hall in Grand Central Terminal’s mighty Vanderbilt Hall, bringing New Nordic Cuisine to America. A part of the 100-year-old cavernous terminal in Midtown Manhattan is in the process of being transformed into a kitchen characterized by the modern Nordic flavour palate, complete with its own bakery, coffee bar, a hot-dog cart, and a pavilion with mainly vegetarian dishes.
Flirting with the idea of creating a Nordic food haven under the astronomical ceilings of one of America’s most historical landmarks was beyond exhilarating. Realizing it, however, is a very different nail- biting and headache-inducing game: “Right now, it’s just a towering pyramid of endless emails, phone calls, meetings, details, and possible lawsuits. We are hiring 300 people and I have absolutely no idea where to find any of them. We are starting from zero and have to accelerate like a cheetah. I am trying to stay calm on the outside, but on the inside, I definitely feel pressure,” he reveals as we get off the A train and jump on the G.