The smell of New Orleans’-style gumbo fills the hole-in-the-wall eatery in the basement of Fredrikke. It’s easy to miss, but with 10 minutes to go before opening time, there’s already people waiting to buy lunch. Kutt opens at 12:00 PM and closes when the last meal is sold to the long line of hungry students. It pays off to get there early to nab one of the 150 meals, which cost only 50 NOK today.
«Kutt Gourmet offers students a gourmet lunch with ingredients that would otherwise just be thrown away,» Lene Kvale, marketing coordinator for SiO, wrote in an email to Universitas.
One time we got octopus. That was a little hard to figure out.Even Rosted
Since Kutt opened in 2015 it has saved over 23 tons of food waste. In 2017 alone it saved 10,260 kilograms of food that would have otherwise been thrown away. That’s the weight of almost two full grown African elephants.
Their success is simple, says Even Rosted. «It’s a combination of things: We focus on food waste, and the price point is lower than other cafes,» he said. «And hopefully the food is good!»
Every day he receives the extra ingredients from SiO Food and Drink, and Deilig Fredrikke.
«One time we got octopus. That was a little hard to figure out, but I made a poke bowl and paella – and they were both very popular!» Rosted said.
The chef says he’s personally motivated by preventing food waste, both at work and at home.
«We want to show students and staff that it’s possible to make good food with ingredients that are about to expire,» he said.
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Kutt has had success at Blindern, and this fall will open a new location at Oslo Metropolitan University. Now Lene Kvale has new plans to announce.
«We’re represented on the biggest campus in Oslo, but we want to expand Kutt Gourmet. We’re looking at various possibilities, such as a food truck or pop-up, to spread the message. We also want to release the recipes for our most popular dishes,» she said.
Since Kutt saves food which would have otherwise been thrown away, many of the dishes feature meat. Nevertheless, there are some vegetarian alternatives.
«Last week we had an Indian korma, and we served chicken on the side, so it could be vegan,» said Rosted.
In addition, Rosted is the chef at Blindern Vegetarian, a pop-up every Monday in the same location.
«It’s a different concept, and doesn’t use extra food [like Kutt],» said Rosted. But, he added: «If I ever got in extra food like vegetarian burgers or vegetables, I think of Blindern Vegetarian.»