Albert Sunyer – Better food and less waste

Albert Sunyer, a spokesperson for zero waste, teaches the students of the AgriCulinary training program how sustainably produced vegetables can be used almost completely without any waste.

The use of good quality vegetables must be increased

The use of good quality vegetables should be increased and the consumption of meat should be reduced. Vegetables taste good and the flavor of vegetables deepens through cooking. If you are curious about new vegetables, you can start increasing the use of vegetables in your diet by tasting one at a time.

—It’s great to be telling AgriCulinary students and their teachers about high-quality food and the sensible ways utilizing vegetables.

Presenting restaurant Nolla’s menu

Students also get to experience the food preparation methods used at Restaurant Nolla. At Nolla, we cook with Finnish ingredients, especially root vegetables, which have the longest season in Finland.

—I present the students with Nolla’s menu, from which we prepare five dishes with the AgriCulinary students. Fifteen products/plants are reserved for making portions, most of which are commonly thrown into bio waste at many places. I show them how we can get more food out of the ingredients, and almost zero waste.

Students standing in training kitchen with their teachers and lecturer Albert Sunyer.

The responsibility for nature and the climate is also ours

In Albert’s opinion, a responsible company also observers and considers the welfare of climate, environment and nature in its operations. At many places, the day’s work is done in a routine way without seeing the overall picture of the amount of waste generated. I noticed that this can be done better.

—We have been lost for decades. Purchasing industrially produced food has been a priority and made easy for everyone. Most often, we have not seen the packaging material as a waste either. It is common for us to buy products packaged in plastic or to buy single-use clothes that we don’t buy for everyday use but throw them away. We haven’t been able to think about the fact that natural resources and diversity decrease when waste is transported into nature as a result of our activities.

—When we opened the first Restaurant Nolla, I failed many times in the beginning when trying to apply sustainable development and gastronomy in practice. But trying out many ideas eventually helped us to stabilize our operation towards a more responsible business operation. Fortunately, I have been able to do pioneering work alongside with great people and experts and learn from them along the way.

Albert Sunyer and his partners

Albert Sunyer, a Barcelona native and father of two, has lived in Finland for almost 12 years.

Together with business partners Luca Balać and Carlos Henriques, Albert founded Restaurant Nolla in Helsinki. Although establishing a restaurant might not have been the first thing on Albert’s to-do list when arriving to Finland.

Over the years, he started to feel comfortable if he did work according to his values at his own restaurant. Today, all three business partners have three restaurants: Restaurant Nolla, Restaurant Elm and the neighborhood Restaurant-Bakery Nolita.