Lonely Planet Writer

A pop-up restaurant in Zürich is serving food that was destined for the dump

Frau Gerolds Garten, the idiosyncratic restaurant and urban garden in Zürich, Switzerland, is set to take the fight against food waste to a whole new level in March with a pop-up event that will prevent food from heading to landfill.

A meal made of food waste. Image by Frau Gerolds Garten

During each week of the Rübis & Stübis event, an expert from Zürich’s restaurant and food industry scene will create an exciting menu using food that was about to be thrown away by supermarkets and restaurant suppliers. They will then assist Frau Gerolds Garten’s staff in cooking it. The restaurant will also try not to create any food waste in the kitchen in March.

The interior of Frau Gerolds Garten restaurant. Image by Frau Gerolds Garten

‘We want to raise awareness about how limited our planet’s resources are and how each and every one of us can help to preserve them,’ Carla Taube, manager at Frau Gerolds Garten, told Lonely Planet. Each day her team checks back with their suppliers if they have any food left that they can no longer sell. The team then integrates these items into the menu. ‘Of course this is not food that has already gone bad,’ Carla was keen to emphasise. ‘It is, for example, one day old bread, or veggies that have a weird shape that are considered too ugly to sell, but that are otherwise perfectly edible.’

The pop-up runs until the end of the month. Image by Frau Gerolds Garten

This is the third year that Frau Gerolds Garten has run themed events in March. Last year chefs from all around the world added flavours from their local cuisine to the menu. This year sustainability is front and centre and ‘Rübis and stübis’ is a Swiss-German expression that means eating everything ‘from nose to tail’. ‘Not only do we use food that is about to be thrown away, but we also try to use up every bit of it,’ Carla elaborated. ‘We did, for example, create an éclair made of egg shells.’ The customers seem to be enjoying the theme as well. ‘I had no idea this could taste this good’ and ‘I didn’t know this about food waste’ are the two types of feedback we receive the most,’ said Carla.

Rübis & Stübis is held at Frau Gerolds Garten until 31 March. Information and reservation details can be found here.

Words: Claudia Peter