By: Amy Rosner By: Amy Rosner | January 7, 2022 | Food & Drink
SCEN, the first circular, farm-to-table, and only zero-waste fast-casual concept of its kind opens its doors in New York City on January 11th.
A partnership between 23-year old entrepreneur, Maximilian Koenig, and Chef Matthew Kenney, SCEN was built on a philosophy created by a collective of scientists, developers, and artists that aims to advance nutrition for the health of both humans and nature.
SCEN offers an accessible all-day menu rooted in nutritional science and executed by a culinary team at the frontier of crafting the future of food.
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“My generation is tired of compromising the planet and our own health for convenience on a daily basis, however, the current options are limited and require a lot of critical research. We set out to develop every detail of our concept based on the health of humans and the planet. It is our mission to create a circular food supply chain for the cities of the future and make nutritional science available for everyone” says Maximilian Koenig, founder of SCEN.
SCEN is inspired by the ‘Japandi’ philosophy, which marries Scandinavian functionality and Japanese minimalism to create a space of art, nature, and simplicity.
With the ultimate goal of creating a menu that is functional, accessible, organic, and artful, SCEN combines New Nordic cuisine promoting local, natural, and seasonal produce, and a Japanese type of plant-forward cuisine called shojin-ryori.
Shojin-ryori has a thousand-year history based in Zen Buddhism that emphasizes not only a plant-based diet but resource conservation and sustainability.
The result is a holistic menu with plant-based breakfast, lunch, and dinner options for people on the go, including bagels, customizable bowls, and pre-made sushi rolls along with smoothies, a highly-curated specialty tea offering with colorful combinations and adaptogenic super drinks.
SCEN’s menu of breakfast bowls featuring bases such as chia cacao, chia, and red fruit and overnight oats; toppings including protein brownies, protein banana, seasonal fruit, sliced almonds or mango; and finishings such as coconut flakes, almond butter, unsweetened granola, cocoa powder or cocoa nibs.
Curated and customizable lunch bowls follow the same steps featuring bases such as sushi rice, brown rice, quinoa, and Red Russian Kale; proteins including soy maple-glazed tempeh, ginger miso chickpeas, and sweet & sour cauliflower; nutrient-filled toppings like edamame, sweet potato, broccolini, sesame golden beets, sumac, rainbow radishes; and flavorful dressings such as cashew kimchi, sesame tahini, and carrot ginger.
A variety of pre-made sushi rolls are also available and include the kimchi swiss chard roll with cashew kimchi, swiss chard, pecan dukkha, beetroot hummus, and squash; mosaic roll with beets, cucumber, radish, avocado, and carrot ginger; and a mango roll made of mango, cucumber, avocado, chili, and sumac.
Every detail at SCEN is relentlessly mindful of the environment and aimed at unlocking human potential suppressed by modern diets.
SCEN’s menu uses only whole foods with non-GMO, local, seasonal and organic-forward ingredients.
All packaging is completely compostable and made out of plant waste, colored with algae ink, and produced with wind energy.
Additionally, SCEN is collaborating with the Total Resource Use and Efficiency program (TRUE) -- backed by the world’s leading sustainability and health certification and credentialing body, Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI) -- to become the only certified zero-waste restaurant in the world.
“This is a time of exponential growth for the plant-based market. People are realizing that they need to take care of themselves more than ever, in a way that is sustainable and pleasurable.,” says Matthew Kenney. “We continue to see a real shift in the restaurant industry, which has been something I’ve been working toward for a very long time.”
SCEN is Swedish for “stage” and is pronounced like the Japanese “Zen,” embodying the team’s mission to build a global stage for the balance of humans and nature.
As the first scalable, circular farm-to-table model tailored to fit every environment and the cities of the future, SCEN is advancing a just and equitable distribution of truly healthy nutrition, feeding the pioneers of the future and ensuring planetary longevity.
Photography by: Courtesy SCEN