Three European chefs bucked the odds, opening new eateries that quickly succeeded in an industry in which more than half the players close within three years of opening. Their concepts were very different, but they shared a common trait: Each began with a clear vision of what they wanted to do and a plan for how they would do it. "We had the definite intention to define a new Nordic cuisine that embraced the Arctic and brightened the world by virtue of its great taste and unique character. However, we also wanted to create a great restaurant and earn a profit," said Noma's Claus Meyer.

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