Interview: Jimmy Øien
Rest means “what is left” in Norwegian; tell us about the story behind the name.
Waste is a grave problem in Norway as it is in the rest of the world. 1/3 of all the food produced is either lost or wasted. Even worse, millions of animals and tons of produce never even reach stores or consumers. Like carrots that do not look like uniform soldiers marching out of an industrial plant or hens once their egg production slows down. Thrown away or used as an ingredient in concrete, considered worthless. In this pioneering restaurant, no great ingredient is left behind. Rest is a rejection of modern consumerism. Their mantra is ‘waste not, want not’; their ethos is based around using imperfect produce and items which would usually be discarded. Ingredients are used in multiple different ways in the skilfully prepared, multi-course menu.
What efforts are being made – and what safety nets are in place – to avoid or capture discrimination, bullying, and verbal and physical abuse, which can result in mental illness among employees?
Having a good work environment is super important. We have a staff club and prosper on working together as a family. As head chef, I regularly sit down with each to check in on how they are doing both in the restaurant and their time off. If something is wrong, it’s important they feel that they can talk to me. In our kitchen, it’s not acceptable to yell or be mean. We have a pretty flat structure.