The popularity of plant-based living is evident. Everywhere you look, brands do whatever they can to associate themselves with the term “plant-based.” From bug spray to body wash, companies are making it their business to be known as plant-based any way they can. Plant-based living has been trending upward for years but the proof of its immunity boosting benefits has caused a spike in its popularity due to the current pandemic.
Beyond Meat is a meat alternative that cooks and tastes like meat. They have partnered with a variety of food chains to provide diners with meat-free options. McDonald’s recently announced they will be using their product to add the McPlant burger to the menu. KFC is using Beyond Meat to make a faux chicken bucket and even Panda Express has added maple tofu with their meat crumbles to their offerings. With these types of partnerships, it’s easy to be confused about the power of plant-based living. When food companies with not so healthy reputations join the bandwagon, it becomes more challenging to know what plant-based living really is.
Thankfully the partnership between 23-year old entrepreneur, Maximilian Koenig, and Chef Matthew Kenney makes the power of plant-based food very clear. SCEN, the first circular, farm-to-table and only zero-waste fast-casual concept of its kind, recently opened its doors in New York City. SCEN, the brainchild of owner Max was conceptualized after witnessing the power this lifestyle had for his grandfather’s health. 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. Max believes there’s no need to choose between the benefits of people or the planet when having discussions around health.
“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. The menu mirrors this concept, offering a holistic menu with plant-based breakfast, lunch and dinner options for people on the go. Menu highlights include:
SCEN’s menu of breakfast bowls feature 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.
Their drink menu includes smoothies and a highly-curated specialty tea selection with colorful combinations and adaptogenic superdrinks.
SCEN prides itself in creating a mindful environment that aims 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) to become the only certified zero-waste restaurant in the world.
It’s very clear that SCEN is not a trend. This concept was created out of the love for the people, the future of the planet, and the ability to live a life full of endless possibilities. SCEN, Swedish for “stage”, is set to inspire not only how we eat but also to ensure we love how we live.
By Brandy Cochrane, Plant Candy