Dining out with a social conscience is becoming easier with the recent arrival of Gratia and Folonomo in Surry Hills. Now there is Oz Harvest’s harvested, a pop-up cafe opening today in Pyrmont. It uses food that might otherwise be rejected because of its appearance or imperfections for the menu.

“It’s about community engagement and education,” says chef, Travis Harvey. Harvey, who leads Cooking for a Cause (the organisations’ corporate program), will be heading up the kitchen and is the mastermind behind the concept.

“People think of rescued food as blemished or damaged, but we’re looking at so many amazing products that come through because of poor management of the food system. There is great quality and it’s about what you can do with a little bit of imagination.”

The pop-up restaurant, inspired by a similar concept in New York will operate for lunch on Tuesday and Wednesday until the end of July, costing $15 per head with proceeds going to OzHarvest. Dishes are designed to share.

“We want to feed people until they’re full,” says Harvey. “They’ll be eating food that would otherwise become landfill. We try to have the right-sized portions and to nourish people, but we want everyone to feel comfortable enough to ask for more. We want people to engage, and we want them to feel the intention and sincerity in the food.”

The menu will vary depending on what food has been rescued, but Harvey says he regularly pickles, dehydrates and preserves what comes in to build up a base of ingredients.

“We never really know what we’re going to do, but being agile is how we’ve been able to get to where we are.”

Use of the 60-seat pop-up space (previously a restaurant) has been donated by City West Housing.

harvested
56 Harris Street, Pyrmont
1800 108 006

Hours
Tue & Wed 11.30am –2.30pm

ozharvest.org