The RESTLOS GLÜCKLICH looks like a typical Berlin in-restaurant: damaged walls and tables in retro-look. Menus handsomely written on black slate boards, by Anette Keuchel, reveal what chef Daniel is just preparing in the kitchen: beetroot soup, homemade gnocchi in parsnip and carrot sauce, avocado chocolate brownies, with banana and soya mayo. (1)

The 39 year-old Berliner avoids wasting food both in her private and professional life. Some weeks ago, with others she opened Berlin’s first leftover restaurant. She only uses food that has been rejected by supermarkets, or farmers: crooked carrots, speckled bananas, or apples with blemishes.

The expression ‘food from rubbish’ makes her feel uneasy as she is aware that companies which she cooperates with do not voluntarily dispose of the food, and look for constructive solutions. For her it is very important not only to save food in her project, but also to make people rethink. Because, only in Germany, about 18 million tons of food end up in the rubbish every year, 7.2 tons from private households.

In RESTLOS GLÜCKLICH guests can experience how accidentally purchased and happily mixed together ingredients make delicious meals. Anette hopes to influence her customers positively. Maybe people are encouraged to be more aware when they choose their next purchase, or develop more creativity when looking in the fridge the next time.

Incidentally, Anette’s idea is the result of a holiday in Denmark. She discovered the restaurant RUB & STUB in Copenhagen which used food that otherwise would only have decayed. With friends and activists from the food-sharing scene she developed a business plan, and started a crowdfunding-campaign.

This inspirational woman herself still works part-time as a foreign language correspondent. Only the chef Daniel, the manageress, and the event manager, are employed full time. Everybody else works there in a voluntary capacity. If you want to change the world you need enthusiasm and passion. And that type of person is on the increase. Even if pessimists suggest otherwise.

Anette Keuchel, 39, opened the first German leftover restaurant in Berlin-Neukölln, the ‘Restlos glücklich’ (Kienitzer Str. 22).  The mother of two daughters (aged three and seven) works there in a voluntary capacity alongside her part-time job as a foreign language correspondent. What she most enjoys is serving at tables and chatting with the guests.

(1) I discovered Anette Keuchel – along with other amazing women who change the world – in the magazine BRIGITTE (19/2016). Photo: abendblatt-berlin.de

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