Our weekly serving of off-the-menu items—a few popular favorites from the week, as well as a few morsels that may have slipped your notice.

A Juicer for the New Age

Although juicers have become a somewhat comical trend of the 21st century, it’s still a fact that fresh-pressed juice is delicious. Introducing a more sustainable way to juice, design firm Carlo Ratti Associati has created a juicer that utilizes leftover orange peels. The juicer can handle 1,500 oranges at a time, and after pressing them for juice, the peels are dried, ground up, mixed with polylactic acid to form a bioplastic, and then formed into cups with an internal 3D printer.

A New Kind of Solar Panel

Inventor Julian Melchiorri has developed what he calls the “BioSolar Leaf,” a mix of microalgae, phytoplankton and microscopic plants that are planted alongside solar-panel-like structures, absorbing CO2 and producing breathable oxygen 100 times faster than an acre of forest. In addition to cleaning the air, the BioSolar Leaf also grows proteins and edible food products, without contributing to deforestation.

Exploring Architectural Forms, with a Cocktail in Hand

The LAX Bar, inspired by the work of architect Adolf Loos and artist Jean-Pierre Raynaud, explores the architectural composition of a cocktail bar. Covered in wide, grid-like tiles and mirrors, the bar surrounds visitors with a sense of illusion – all while serving actual cocktails.

Photo by Dominik Tarabanski.

The Dim Sum Chef Making Dumpling Art

Hong Kong-born, NYC-based Chef Joe Ng is upholding a Chinese art that dates back more than 2,000 years, creating sculptures with dough. Although Ng is known for his creative Cantonese-style dim sum, the elaborate scenes of traditional Chinese life that he creates from dumpling dough are only a hobby. 

Gastronomy Meets Sustainable Farming

After realizing that chefs wanted access to fresh, sustainably grown produce, but that gardening for themselves was too labor-intensive to do themselves, Julie Bounan founded La Plucherie, a truck that brings still-living produce directly to commercial kitchens. The truck acts as a mobile growing unit, cultivating microgreens, edible flowers and herbs inside its tiny space. La Plucherie travels to where chefs are, allowing them to pick still-living plants to cook with.