Zero Waste Bistro

Zero Waste Bistro at WantedDesign Manhattan presents food and design to help make our planet healthier.

Zero Waste Bistro, presented by the Finnish Cultural Institute in New York, takes place during NYCxDESIGN at WantedDesign Manhattan. A four-day laboratory of food and design builds on themes of circular economy, new material innovations and sustainable design. Zero Waste Bistro is co-curated by Finnish designers Harri Koskinen and Linda Bergroth and introduces the zero-waste food philosophy of Helsinki-based Restaurant Nolla, the first zero-waste restaurant in the Nordics. Zero Waste Bistro will be open on May 19-22.

It’s time we rethink the way we live, eat, what materials we choose.

"It’s time to rethink the way we live, the way we eat and the materials we use", says Kaarina Gould, Executive Director of the Finnish Cultural Institute in New York, "Our seas are filled with plastic waste.  In the US alone, over 58 billion disposable cups are discarded to landfill every year. What if all of those cups were recyclable? What if all of our everyday packaging was made of materials that contained no plastic? What if we only ever bought things that we love, things that last a life time? With Zero Waste Bistro we're proposing a future that reduces waste and maintains our planet livable, a future that's already here if we make the right choices, however radical."

Refuse, reduce, reuse, and only as a last resource: recycle.

Chefs Luka Balac, Carlos Henriques and Albert Franch Sunyer, who have all worked at various Michelin star establishments in Helsinki and beyond, are behind the newly opened Restaurant Nolla (Nolla = Zero) in Helsinki. The idea for their restaurant stemmed from the need to change the restaurant industry.  An average restaurant produces over a ton of waste every week. By developing a circular economy and following a simple philosophy of refusing, reducing, reusing, and only as the last resource recycling – they’re aiming at zero waste levels in their practice. At Zero Waste Bistro in New York, the chefs present a mouth-watering, yet thought-provoking menu: “Local and organic products, as well as overlooked byproducts of our food system will be the building block of our dishes. With a strong focus on sustainability, our dishes are based on creative thinking to produce something delicious and genuine out of ignored and local ingredients”, the chefs say.

The Zero Waste Bistro, designed by Linda Bergroth in collaboration with Finnish Design Shop, Zero Waste Bistro will introduce tableware and furniture from Finnish design icons Iittala and Artek.  The design classics featured in the bistro, the Alvar Aalto pendants and stools and a new edition of Kaj Franck’s Teema series underline the philosophy of sustainable design, objects created to last a lifetime and beyond. The entire bistro is built with materials that contribute to a zero-waste future: All surfaces are made of Durat, a unique, sustainable solid surface material which contains recycled plastic and is 100% recyclable. The Finnish company has been pioneering in circular economy for already 27 years. Architecture of the space is made of ReWall, a hardboard that is produced in Iowa from industry waste.

Kotkamills, a Finnish company dating back to 1872, introduces their fully repulpaple disposable cup – with no PE plastic, and thus a radical game changer in the world of food packaging. Sulapac is a fully biodegradable packaging material made of renewable and sustainable raw materials, containing no micro plastics. Designed for brands that want to eliminate plastic waste and demonstrate a genuine commitment to sustainability through the use of premium ecological packaging.

Cocktails for the daily cocktail hours are served by Kyrö Distillery, from the Finnish village of Isokyrö, the world’s northernmost distillery producing the award-winning Napue Rye Gin. Other partners include the airline Finnair and Oklin, a producer of intelligent food composting solutions. 

Zero Waste Bistro is open from Saturday, May 19 through Tuesday, May 22 at WantedDesign Manhattan. A program of talks and workshops, looking at themes of sustainability, zero waste and circular economy will be announced prior to the event.

Due to limited capacity, the Zero Waste tasting sessions should be pre-booked and prepaid online. 
Bookings are now open on Eventbrite.

To register to WantedDesign Manhattan, go here.


More Finnish design at WantedDesign New York

Studio Maiju Uski will be exhibiting her design PALAT as part of WantedDesign Manhattan Launchpad focusing on emerging design talent.

At WantedDesign Brooklyn, Faculty of Art and Design at the University of Lapland are presenting DARKTIC, a project by 12 undergraduate students. DARKTIC demonstrates proficiency in arctic design combining industrial, interior & textile, clothing, audiovisual, graphic and service design.

Aalto University is participating WantedDesign Design Schools Workshop, organized annually for a group of students from international design schools to experience hands-on exploration of techniques, and to foster the creation of an international network of young designers.