Eating zero waste means one thing: deliciously innovative (and really smart).
Zero waste is a concept and practice that can mean so many things. Since I started my journey to live a more conscious lifestyle, my awareness has opened ten-fold to the various ways in which one can implement what it means to be a conscious citizen. Practicing how to be zero waste has only become more interesting the more I learn, especially in the culinary realm. Because let’s face it: what kind of human doesn’t love good food?
The Finish Cultural Institute in New York was hosting a Zero Waste Bistro and jumped at the opportunity to attend. Their mission is to bring contemporary art, design and architecture to NYC. The Zero Waste Bistro was part of the WantedDesign conference line-up, which promoted sustainable design, hosting an impressive variety of international makers and artisans alike. The Finish Cultural Institute invited chefs from the Helsinki-based Restaurant Nolla to bring their zero waste food philosophy to New York, and offered guests a one of a kind epicurean adventure to the world of zero waste eating. Curated by Harri Koskinen & Linda Bergroth, design also took center-stage accompanying the creative brunch that we were served – the zero waste concept had wrapped itself around this entire experience.
A tasting menu built with a zero waste philosophy
The Helsinki-based Restaurant Nolla served a three-course menu that was insane. The restaurant’s philosophy started from the need to rethink the restaurant industry. Their philosophy is simple: “Refuse, reduce, reuse, and only as a last resource, recycle.” To successfully complete the zero-waste ideology, they work directly with producers to rethink, reject and control packaging. Local and organic products, as well as overlooked byproducts of our foodsystem are the building block of their dishes. Amen!
Standout menu items included:
- Black Sea bass (a sustainable fish if properly sourced hand-line and trap caught in the Northern Atlantic) with white sweet potato and burned damson butter sauce.
- Green asparagus with sunflower seeds, green romesco, and smoked white fish. So yum.
- Cocoa husk ice cream with rhubarb and burned chocolate. This little delight blew my mind. The balance was extraordinary, not overly sweet like may store-bought ice-creams are, and literally just tasted pure. It felt good to eat.
Not only was the food spectacular, but the other diners also brought a fantastic energy to the experience. We all shared the same ideology and it was a beautiful thing.
Noteworthy collaborators also included:
The Finnish Design Shop: ”We don’t like materialism, but love aesthetics. We see less as more, and think everything, however small, should be chosen with care. Quality is not elitism, but sustainability.” They are the world’s largest online store for Nordic design. They decorated the space with Alvar Aalto stools and lamps and Iittala tableware used at the Zero Waste Bistro.
Durat: a unique, sustainable solid surface material which contains recycled plastic and is 100% recyclable. This Finnish company has been pioneering in the circular economy for already 27 years, minimizing the need for virgin raw materials and offering a take-back service putting the potential of 100% recyclability to practice.