Garbage gourmet! Do-gooder foodies dine in W’burg dumpster

Tossed salad: Foodies feasted on salvaged dishes in the repurposed construction dumpster that still looks very much like a dumpster.
The Brooklyn Paper
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Industrial decoration and outdoor seating are all the rage in the restaurant world, so it was only a matter of time before someone decided to host a gourmet dinner inside a dumpster.

The six-course meal in Williamsburg was organized on June 28 and 29 by a graduate student who charged eager gourmands $50 a head for the privilege, as the website Pixable first reported. The dumpster dinner was meant to raise awareness about the amount of perfectly edible food that gets tossed every day, its organizer said.

“This was an interesting, boots-on-the-ground way to inspire people and engage them in a conversation about wasting food,” said Joshua Treuhaft.

To drive the message home, the food on offer was made of ingredients that were bruised, stale, or overripe, donated by stores, or bought at a deep discount.

The dumpster had previously been used for construction and not household trash, but it was still far from pristine, so Treuhaft built a deck over the floor, he said.

The space inside the trash bin was narrow, so Treuhaft had to build a custom table. Naturally, he assembled it from salvaged wood.

Some diners were apprehensive about eating in a giant trash receptacle, but in the end they had a blast, one attendee said.

“Cars kept stopping to look at us, and one guy climbed through his sunroof to take a picture,” said Bill Gordon, who was one of Treuhaft’s professors at the School of Visual Arts. “It was truly a unique experience.”

The menu included heirloom tomato gazpacho, carrot-green pesto on stale bread, and pickled kale stems.

The chef scrambled to come up with the menu because she did not know until a few days before the meal what the ingredients would be, she said. Treuhaft had the dumpster delivered to the street in front of her house so that she could prepare the six-course meal upstairs.

“There was no way we could have done any prep or cooking inside that dumpster,” said Celia Lam, who agreed to make the food in exchange for Treuhaft agreeing to donate the proceeds to the charity CulinaryCorps.

Since Treuhaft did not have a liquor license, he invited all of the diners up to Lam’s apartment to enjoy a cocktail before the meal.

“While we were eating, some cops came by and told some people who were sitting nearby on their stoop what to do, so it is a good thing we were not drinking,” Gordon said.

The dinner was part of a series of one-off dinners called the Salvage Supperclub, which Treuhaft said are an extension of his thesis on city gardening and his campaign to reduce food waste.

“We want to get our guests to stop being so snobbish and judgmental about the food they eat,” he said.

This was the first dumpster dinner and Treuhaft said it may be the last.

“It is a lot of work doing it inside a dumpster,” he said.

Reach reporter Danielle Furfaro at or by calling (718) 260-2511. Follow her at
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

SwampYankee from ruined Brooklyn says:

Hipsters, always thinking of ways to draw attention to themselves
July 5, 2014, 5:34 am
Rufus Leaking from BH says:
More dollars than sense.
July 5, 2014, 11:16 am
ty from pps says:
look at me, i'm stuffing hot dogs down my throat...
July 5, 2014, 1:58 pm
Live Ade says:

Transplant hipsters who grew up in Iowa and Ohio and have their chic Brooklyn lifestyles paid for by their parents who collect federal farm subsidies (aka welfare) for owning purposefully unproductive farmland want to "raise awareness" in NYC about uneconomical food use.
July 5, 2014, 2:59 pm
Common Cents from Crown Heights says:
How many parking spaces did this nonsense take up?
July 5, 2014, 3:54 pm
SwampYankee from ruined Brooklyn says:
If one feels so strongly for the cause why not just donate the money????? Why does one need to be seen, photographed, filmed, video-blogged, LOOK AT MEEEEEEEEED? Hipsters seem to need lots and lots and lots of attention.
July 5, 2014, 7:44 pm
bkdude64 says:
Yup! Those are hipsters alright
July 5, 2014, 9:45 pm
Scott from Park Slope says:
Live Ade, have you ever been on a farm? Done any farm work? Have you ever been out of your little corner of Brooklyn? Because your comment sounds far more parochial than the people you are mocking. Farmers are not wealthy. They work hard every day, harder than you've ever worked in your entire life. The idea that they're so wealthy that they can support good-for-nothing kids having fun in Brooklyn is absurd. The idea that hard-working people like that could raise good-for-nothing kids who would even conceive of doing what you're suggesting is equally absurd. And BTW diehipster (we know it's you, because you repeat the same stupid memes), this hobby horse you're on where everyone else in the country is magically wealthier than New Yorkers and can breeze in for an extended vacation of several years does not bear out. The rest of the country scrapes by on a daily basis. Its wealth has been strip-mined by the big banks in this city for decades through various instruments and squirreled away in the Caymans ($33 trillion according to Forbes).
July 6, 2014, 8:29 am
b from gp says:
Does anyone remember dear Gage and Tollner? What's become of it is another form of waste. Wholesale, junk jewelery, shiney new cheap trash. Ah, though culture needs to counter itself?

clean waste to biogas, anyone?


NY Dept of Sanitation, a less romantic cause, could use some real focus. Infrastructure is way more smart punk than faux dumpster diving. May as well have held a fundraiser at The Plaza.
July 6, 2014, 10:45 am
ty from pps says:
Didn't get enough clicks from this two or three days ago, so you slapped a new date on top and reposted it as new?
July 7, 2014, 7:53 am
NYPD from NY says:
So that's what hipsters look like? They look like middle American white people without the obesity. Some of you commenting are lamer than these dumpster diners. Oh, and for the record, I think they're idiots.
July 7, 2014, 9:12 am
K. from ArKady says:
Now just cart those people off to Fresh Kills and your job is done here.
July 8, 2014, 12:18 pm
Rufus Leaking from BH says:
Where did they throw the leftovers?
July 8, 2014, 12:59 pm
Peter Engel from Fort Greene says:
Read "Want Not" by Jonathan Miles. It's a pretty funny exploration of this territory.
July 8, 2014, 2:37 pm
Charles from Bklyn says:
All these haters above are just jealous. Of course, jealously of garbage is lower than people eating in the garbage.
July 8, 2014, 5:37 pm
Live Ade says:
Still ironic.

Aiden's and Chloe's parents take federal farm subsidies while growing corn for ethanol and use their unproductive "profits" to fund their children's M.F.A. programs at the New School and NYU, respectively, leaving poor Aiden and Chloe nothing else to do in New Brooklyn than stage performance art like this to "raise awareness" about uneconomical use of food.
July 8, 2014, 10:42 pm
ty from pps says:
Ahhhhh... the unlimited funds from the outrageously wealthy midwest! I keep hearing rumors of the roads paved in goal in Akron.
July 8, 2014, 11:07 pm
John Wasserman from Prospect Heights says:
If you don't mind I'd like to make one statement, and ask one question here on this panel:
First I'd like to say that I have to agree with this Cranky Swamp character on this one.
Thirdly, to this "Thank You character regarding the "streets paved in goal":

Is this a soccer reference?

Thank for reading.
July 9, 2014, 4:43 pm
Robin from Crown Heights says:
Next time we can invite the haters to join. It's an experience that should not go untasted.
July 9, 2014, 5:19 pm
Renny Poo from Long Island says:
So, when's the next one?
July 9, 2014, 9:23 pm
EllBee says:
Y'all are haters. Can't you just appreciate it for what it is--a way to raise awareness about food waste? It was the guy's thesis project, for cryin' out loud. Stop moaning about hipsters.
July 10, 2014, 4:15 pm
hgreen from says:
In a dumpster... really?
Dec. 7, 2014, 3:57 pm

Comments closed.

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