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Culinary Misfits - the shopLea & Tanja

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Culinary Misfits - the shop

Culinary Misfits is a project revolving around the subject of sustainable food culture. A project that aims to inspire people to reduce waste and re-think how we buy and consume natural foods. What most people don't know is that around 40% of all vegetables grown are thrown away because they are what the buyers consider deformed, too small, too big, the wrong color or just plain odd looking. With this project we want to show that Misfits are just as perfectly and should never be wasted!

Category Event
City: Berlin
Funding period: 05.10.2012, 02:28 PM to 14.12.2012, 11:59 PM    

What is this project all about?

Culinary Misfits aims to change public perception when it comes to food. Not only do we rescue vegetables that would otherwise be thrown away, but we present them in a variety of delicious and nutritious recipes made with vegetables supplied by local farmers from Berlin and the surrounding areas.

Misfits are natural wonders like crooked cucumbers, heart shaped potatoes, three legged carrots and monster beets that would normally be overlooked and considered worthless in the marketplace and therefore would never make it to the vegetable isle in your local supermarket. We want to showcase their natural beauty and also bring other natural delights, like wild herbs and old varieties, back into the kitchen.

Not only do we want to avoid throwing away perfectly good food, we want to do so in a playful way with fun inspirational recipes and a pleasing, colorful, and unique presentation.

After spending nine months researching sources, catering many events and creating tasty new recipes, we are eager for our creations to be available to the public every day in our store. This isn't only to rescue the misfit veggies, but also to share a new way of thinking about food and sustainability. We also aim to educate the public and to provide a cozy and welcoming place for new ideas to blossom.

What is the project goal and who is the project for?

We want to influence children and adults alike to feel a connection to where their food comes from and at the same time educate them on just how much food is wasted every day because of perceived imperfection. Our motto is: "Eat the entire harvest." With that in mind, for instance,  we will also turn carrot greens into delicious pesto and radish leaves into yummy soup. We will also develop recipes including fresh alternatives like beet chips, caramelized radishes, carrot soup with wild herbs, and blue potato salad, just to name a few.

We can only get started with your help. All donations will be transparent and go directly into the business of setting up the kitchen, renting space, and turning our ideas into reality. We will keep you up to date on our progress through our blog, and of course you are welcome to stop by the store at any time.

This store will also encourage the organic farmers in and around Berlin to sell veggies that they would normally throw away and enable them to earn extra income. A win/win for everyone.

Why should you support this project?

You are not only supporting our idea, but also the farmers and a new idea in design and sustainability. We promise to fight for the misfits and turn them into delicious recipes that everyone can enjoy. We believe that with our business model, it will begin to creep into people's consciousness that vegetables don't have to look "perfect" to be edible. Eventually we hope stores and consumers alike will begin to think differently and buy the "imperfect" misfit vegetables. It is our hope that we can eventually have an effect on the amount of food that is wasted every day.

How will we use the money if the project is successfully funded? 

We want to open our own store in March/April 2013. We have a lot of passion, great ideas and a portion of the money we need is already in place.
First, we will find a great location in Kreuzberg or Neukoelln and then we can get started right away. We will design the products and recipes ourselves and make Culinary Misfits a cozy and unique place inspired by our environment with furniture from flea markets, recyclable linens, and misfits displayed in their natural beauty, for instance in glass jars and cases, so people can see as well as taste the culinary misfits.
We want everything to be so tasty, comfortable, and inspiring, that you will never forget it and come back often.

Who are the people behind the project?

Culinary Misfits is the young start-up company of designers Tanja Krakowski and Lea Brumsack. Together they have found a clever way to rescue and recycle perfectly good and nutritious food that would otherwise be thrown away.

At the beginning of 2012, the idea to bring these veggie outsiders to the consumers came to life. The team of Tanja and Lea brought their mobile vegetarian cart and exciting recipes to a successful series of "food events" including the Markthalle Neun in Kreuzberg, to conferences, and even a festival in Hamburg.

All news and photographs you can find here:
www.facebook.com/culinarymisfits and here www.culinarymisfits.de

seen by others:
- http://jetzt.sueddeutsche.de/texte/anzeigen/550380/Sonderlinge-schmecken-koestlich
- http://php5.arte.tv/yourope/de/2012/06/30/culinary-misfits-%E2%80%93-die-ernte-nach-der-ernte/
- http://www.ftd.de/lifestyle/outofoffice/:lebensmittel-ein-herz-fuer-krumme-moehren/70076248.html#rating

Culinary Misfits goal is to develop a network of local farmers, kitchens and thinker to create recipes and product ideas for consumers along with strategies to spread the word that these misfits are tasty, nutritious, and don't need to be thrown away.

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