Six students have given the menu of the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen restaurant a sustainable twist. The new dishes are served on the occasion of the new Change the System exhibition that was opened at the museum last week.
© Ruud Verkerke
The Change the System exhibition features projects by several Dutch and international artists who want to change the world by addressing problems such as pollution, conflicts, scarcity of raw materials and political tensions. The museum approached the WUR Food Quality and Design group to work on the theme ‘change the food system’ for their restaurant and help modify its menu to a more sustainable one.
The aim of the project was to create delicious and nutritious dishes while minimising the water footprint, carbon footprint and waste. Additionally, the chefs make better use of local and seasonal products.
Six third-year bachelor’s students, Buiske Boone, Eveline van Honk, Greg Meesters, Simone Penris, Iris Raes and Louka van Stuijvenberg, were selected to design the menu as a part of the course ‘Case Studies on Product Quality’. The students worked in close collaboration with the team of the Museum Boijmans van Beuningen restaurant. The chefs prepared the dishes, and the students calculated the footprints of each item on the menu. ‘It was a very nice experience to have the opportunity to work with people who do not necessarily have a scientific background. We collaborated with artists, and that was quite a unique experience’, says student Iris Raes.
The menu features various soups, sandwiches, and lunch dishes which use locally available and seasonal produce such as tomatoes, aubergines, pumpkins, and potatoes. This menu will last until mid-January, when the exhibition will be closed. The students also designed a special ‘WUR burger’, which consists of sourdough buns and a patty made of carrots and sweet potatoes, served with a side of apple chutney. ‘Compared to a traditional cheeseburger, the WUR burger has less than one tenth of the carbon footprint and uses around a quarter of the water’, says Raes.
According to Raes, the students hope to raise awareness among the museum visitors about the current eating habits and how vegetarian and vegan dishes could help reduce the carbon footprint. ‘We also want to show that this kind of dishes can be very tasty.’