Nestled in a pink backyard by Bankplassen in Oslo is Restaurant REST. Behind a heavy door lies the small, dark restaurant with eight tables. There is hardly any light coming in through the few windows and there are no white tablecloths on the tables. The atmosphere is relaxed and laid-back. This restaurant serves something as unusual as gourmet food made from ingredients that would otherwise be thrown away. A set menu with 20 - 26 servings that together make up an entire meal, and of course with good coffee at the end!

Making gold from waste rock

They opened their doors in late autumn last year, but the idea for the restaurant started long before that. Partners Øystein Ruud and Jimmy Øien despair about how much food is thrown away in Norway. "We throw away over 350,000 staggering tons of food annually in Norway. After doing a deep dive and finding out how many untapped resources and raw materials there are, they decide to create a high-end restaurant and do something that will put food waste on the map. By using unusual cuts and raw materials that would otherwise be thrown straight into the trash, something valuable is created from something seemingly worthless.

"We're not exactly dumpster diving. We make gourmet food from ingredients no one else wants"

Jimmy Øien, head chef

High ambitions in the kitchen

Chef Jimmy Øien, with a background from Palace Grill, Culinary Academy, Kokkelandslaget and Bocuse d'Or, has put together a team with high ambitions that cooks with precision to the very tip of the knife. He is joined by Inghild Stien Thorvaldsen as restaurant manager and sommelier, Christopher Grude Christiansen as sous chef, Mads Revheim-Skjolden as station manager and chef, Vibeke Thommassen as dessert chef and apprentices Sebastian Skauen and Espen Dørnbakk.

Their simple philosophy is to use the whole raw material, and ingredients that would otherwise be thrown away. In this way, Jimmy and the gang can cook without compromise, and they are not locked into a particular continent or concept. But to cook this way, they have to work a little differently than they might be used to. They don't wait for seasons, but rather think about what weird foods are available.

Right now, the menu includes leeks that have gone to seed due to low temperatures. "When leeks are left to grow and flower, they become completely different, and some might say that they are inedible. But it tends to become sweeter and more compact, almost like an asparagus. There is a lot of experimentation in the kitchen, and right now they are making pasta from fish bones. The fish bones are pressure cooked and made into a paste that can be used as a binder in pasta instead of eggs. They also use the back of the king crab, which is usually thrown back into the sea. They use the shell to make stock. In this way, they really get to utilize absolutely all of the raw material.

Coffee in the kitchen

Coffee also has a place in the kitchen. They use the remains of oyster mushrooms grown in coffee grounds, and it was this that gave them the idea of making something with coffee grounds themselves. A thought quickly turned into an experiment, and puffed coffee grounds chips with lemon cream were born. This is served as a petit four with the coffee cup at the end of the meal.

Solberg & Hansen is the restaurant's coffee partner, and every week they receive a surprise package of coffee. Right now, they are offering Kopepi Ketiara from Sumatra to both guests and kitchen staff. The coffee is ground just before serving and brewed with precision on the classic moccamaster.

But back in the kitchen, other rules apply. Jimmy says that the coffee should be strong, and preferably cold to get it down as quickly as possible. This is the way the chefs drink coffee.

"Coffee permeates our entire existence here at the house"

Inghild Stien Thorvaldsen, restaurant manager and sommelier

Jimmy's simple tips for reducing food waste at home:

- At the end of the day, it's always about planning, that's the most important thing.
- Making food from scratch. Food takes on a whole new value when you've made it yourself.
- Root vegetables can be frozen!

Visit the Restaurant REST website here.