On the menu tonight: Dumpster Dive Vegetable Salad with whipped chickpea water, Cured Cuts of Waste-Fed Pigs with melba toast from yesterday’s oatmeal and a dessert of Charred Pineapple Core granita. Delicious or disgusting? When the chef’s of Blue Hill kitchen serve food waste on a plate, it’s guaranteed to be leftovers of the delicious kind. Over the next two weeks, some of the best chefs in the United States are teaming up with Dan Barber and the Blue Hill kitchen for a food waste pop-up restaurant, wastED.

Every night, a dinner menu utilizing ingredients that are normally designated to the dumpster—spent cheese rinds, the outer layers of onions, fish skins, pasta trimmings and vegetable peels—will also include a daily special courtesy of a featured guest chef. The pop-up concept turns fine dining on its head utilizing food waste as a lens to “celebrate what chefs do every day on their menus: creating something delicious out of the ignored or un-coveted,” the website reads. Collaborating with, “local farmers, fishermen, distributors, plant breeders, producers, restaurants and retailers,” the pop-up reconceives waste product at every point in the food chain and includes food waste purveyors ranging from Balthazar Bakery to Anson Mills. As Barber tells Grub Street, “The spirit of this project is to answer the critique of restaurants as places of pretension and waste,” he explains. “We want to utilize creativity to change the understanding of what’s waste. It’s about taking what’s not coveted, or not even considered suitable for a menu, and making it delicious. To me, that’s the larger goal, and how you inculcate that kind of mind-set change.”

The project also collaborates with the architectural practice, formlessfinder—the Brooklyn-based studio best known for their “Tent Pile” installation for Design Miami/ 2013—to reimagine the design and feel of Blue Hill. Garrett Ricciardi, one of the studio’s partners explains the process of connecting the pop-up design, “to the restaurant’s agricultural production and waste concept at as many levels as possible. Much of what we did came from learning about the food being preparing for wastED, and through several visits to Blue Hill at Stone Barns—touring the kitchens, farm and greenhouses to see what materials and processes might potentially work their way into the design.”

wasted-ecovative-tablesTabletops for wastED being grown at Ecovative. Images courtesy of Dan Barber.

The final design has two main elements: Tabletops courtesy of Ecovative, employing the mycelium and agricultural waste mix that we explored this past summer for The Living’s mushroom architecture for MoMA PS1. And a wall covering, which reveals glimpses of the permanent restaurant behind, made from a translucent agricultural fabric called Remay—this is the same material used to cover crops inside the Stone Barns greenhouses.

wastED is open daily for dinner service between now and March 31st at Blue Hill restaurant, 75 Washington Place. Reservations available online or walk-ins after 9PM.

March 13: Daniel Humm
March 14: Dominique Ansel
March 15: Mads Refslund
March 16: Danny Bowien
March 17: Alex Raij
March 18: Alex Stupak with mixologist Dale DeGroff
March 19: Bill Telepan
March 20: April Bloomfield with mixologist Audrey Saunders
March 21: Bill Yosses
March 22: Enrique Olvera
March 23: Nancy Silverton
March 24: Philippe Bertineau / Alain Ducasse
March 25: Andrew Carmellini
March 26: Mario Batali
March 27: Dan Kluger
March 28: Grant Achatz
March 29: Brooks Headley
March 30: Dominique Crenn
March 31: Sean Brock