Lars Williams, the Copenhagen-based former Head of Research and Development at the Nordic Food Lab, illustrates a novel approach to innovation. Through the eyes of a chef, he transposes culinary concepts to the world of distilled spirits at the company Empirical Spirits. The business aims to “capture flavors from around the world” through cutting-edge distillation and fermentation techniques. He also collaborates with activist and educator Chido Govera, the founder of Future of Hope in Zimbabwe. Together, they promote innovative ideas designed to empower local communities to explore the potential of their untapped culinary resources ranging from wild fruits to termites. They transform them into unique food products capable of generating economic value, fostering community identity and captivating global markets.
“Being a chef today is more complicated than it has been, but also offers more opportunities. The culinary world has attracted considerable interest in the past decade, which has changed the scope of influence beyond just those guests that walk through the doors. There has always been a moral
imperative to leave the world a better place than we have found it, but that is increasingly a necessity rather than an option.”