Scan Magazine, Issue 113, June 2018

Page 22

Scan Magazine  |  Culinary Feature  |  Restaurant Nolla

Beans and crudo.

Restaurant founders Carlos Henriques, Albert Franch Sunyer and Luka Balac.

Zero-waste dining Imagine a restaurant where all the food on your plate has been carefully thought of, and zero waste was produced while preparing it. Restaurant Nolla in Helsinki serves food with a Mediterranean twist, made from the best, local and organic produce – and is set to revolutionise the restaurant industry. By Ndéla Faye  |  Photos: Nikola Tomevski

“We wanted to rethink the whole restaurant industry and focus on reducing waste. On the first day we experimented in the kitchen, we were able to reduce our kitchen’s waste by 80 per cent. If we were able to do that in just one day, what could we do if we really applied ourselves?” recalls Carlos Henriques, founder and co-owner at Restaurant Nolla – which means zero in Finnish. After over two years of research, Restaurant Nolla, the first zero-waste restaurant in the Nordics, opened in February 2018 – and Henriques and his fellow co-owners, Albert Franch Sunyer and Luka Balac, have not looked back since.

Saying no to single-use packaging In order to fulfil its zero-waste ideology, the restaurant does not allow any singleuse packaging, all food scraps are composted, and the restaurant works directly 22  |  Issue 113  |  June 2018

with local suppliers and producers. “We’ve had to send back items that weren’t in reusable packaging on a number of occasions. As a result, many suppliers have taken it upon themselves to change their packaging. For example, our coffee supplier has developed a special reusable bucket, and all their coffee is now delivered like that,” Henriques explains. Usually, composts and waste bins are hidden at the back of restaurants, but at Nolla, the compost machine is visible from the dining room, and the kitchen does not have any bins. Nolla’s napkins are made from recycled plastic bottles, and water glasses, made from glass water bottles, have previously been in use at the Finnish Presidential palace. There are no menus at Restaurant Nolla, because they too would create waste – and besides, the menu changes daily, based

on whatever is available on the day. “We ask our diners whether they want a three- or five-course meal, and whether there are any foods they don’t like – and then we prepare their meal based on that information,” says Henriques. To him, a zero-waste restaurant is a no-brainer: it is environmentally sustainable, and also profitable for companies. “We want to spread the word – educate, inspire, cooperate, and have some fun,” he says. “We want to show that tasty, inventive food and sustainability can go hand in hand.”

Usually composts and waste bins are hidden at the back of restaurants, but at Nolla, the compost machine is visible from the dining room. Photo: Juho Vuohelainen


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