We speak to the initiator of the only restaurant guide in the world that rates both gastronomy and sustainability.
By JOHAN MAGNUSSON
December 09, 2020
The first edition of 360°EatGuide, created by copywriter, creative director, cookbook author, and publishing house owner Pär Bergkvist, was unveiled last year. He describes it as a serious attempt at urging restaurants to step up and encourage guests to demand more from the food and drink that they order. And, coincidence or not, since last year’s launch, the Guide Michelin has developed a green symbol that’s awarded to restaurants they consider sustainable. For this year’s edition, he’s seen increased interest.
— You have to keep in mind that participation is voluntary. We do of course dine at each restaurant, but we also demand that each restaurant answers a rather large number of questions where they explain their work with, and commitment to, sustainability. Plus, the proportion of organic and locally produced food, education, food waste, and how they work with vegetables, meat, and fish, he tells.
Which 5 restaurants would you like to highlight?
— I’d like to choose those who are in the top 5 of the list:
1. Amass, Copenhagen, Denmark. The winner from 2019 continues to deliver in a convincing, comprehensive way, with sustainability as a natural part of gastronomy, not something added afterward. When the question of food waste comes up, the answer is: ”Limiting food waste is the core ethos for everything we do.”
— Driven, aware, and knowledgeable with a very high minimum level says Pär Bergkvist.
2. Relæ, Copenhagen, Denmark. A restaurant that for several years has acted as a model for the Danish restaurant scene. Here, people thought about and acted sustainable long before it was a buzzword that everyone wanted to capitalize on.
— They have everything in place, both locally produced and organic. Will, unfortunately, close by the end of this year, says Bergkvist.
3. Moment, Rønde, Denmark. Daring to question is part of all progressive businesses, and Moment is no exception. From the architecture and interior design to fresh ingredients and beverages — here, it all comes together. The restaurant only serves vegetarian dishes made with local, organic ingredients that are in season.
— Very ambitious restaurant where sustainable gastronomy is both natural and relevant, says Bergkvist.
4. Fotografiska, Stockholm, Sweden. With his restaurant at the Fotografiska museum, Paul Svensson shows the way to the future of sustainable, healthy food — without sacrificing gastronomic superiority. Here, they’re earnest about their assignment to help change the world with good, thoughtful, plant-based food and drink.
– A pioneer within sustainable gastronomy, says Bergkvist.
5. Lilla Bjers, Gotland, Sweden. Here, great respect is shown for both ecology and diversity — working the land, not consuming it. The cooking is simple, but — thanks to first-class ingredients grown just outside the kitchen window — guests are invited to a forceful and memorable gastronomic experience.
– The restaurant is surrounded by fields and cultivations; close, organic, and passionate! says Bergkvist.
What’s the next step for restaurants working with sustainability?
— It revolves less around those who are already at the forefront and more about eye-openers for those who don’t care at all, today. Those are the ones we need to wake up, educate, and enthuse. Today, we have around 80 restaurants all over the Nordic region that we consider good enough for the guide — my goal is to get 300 restaurants to participate in this group, within 3 years.
What are your coming plans?
— We are launching 360°Berlin, 360°London, and 360°Paris as soon as possible, considering the pandemic. This guide and the way in which we assess the restaurants are in some ways even more relevant for the rest of Europe, since they haven’t reached quite that far when it comes to sustainable gastronomy, says Bergkvist.