our story

Our story

kasvio as a dream

Kasvio is a dream, a long time in the making, in which the creative forces of people that inspire me come together.

The name Kasvio, herbarium in Finnish, echoes my Finnish background; the place my love of forests and foraging stems from. To me, the herbarium is a metaphor for my goals as a chef: the continuous investigation of plants and our environment, and how to use plant-based food to reshape the way we eat.

I began cooking as a form of activism to promote plant-based food. This evolved into a passion for cooking, supported by several years of working as a chef in plant-based restaurants. At the same time I was working with art organizations, which revealed the power of cooking as an art form, but also as a tool for creating connections and collaborations that can enable us to reimagine our existence in this world.

My work is shaped by my interest in new models for sustainable, plant-based futures and my conviction that to benefit the planet, animals and our health we need to change the way we eat. 

Mari Pitkänen, Chef

art at kasvio

collective dining

The art direction for Kasvio is a collaboration between chef Mari Pitkänen and curator Staci Bu Shea. Both Mari and Staci share a deep appreciation of food as a means of telling stories and bringing friends together. The spirit behind their collaboration is drawn from their shared love of saunas, from warm, cosy cabins that create the feeling of being everywhere and nowhere at once, and old but ever present horoscope advice to “reach out to your friends, ask for guidance, fall in love with a mountain again.”

At Kasvio, we create a space where stories – told with different mediums – come together and where our research into food ingredients, textures and flavours is intertwined, inspired and moulded by our collaborations with artists. With artist Asia working on the interior design, we created a sensuous environment of artistic collaboration that supports the food served and the heart of Kasvio: the experience of collective dining.

Kitchen team

a common vision

Kasvios kitchen team consisting of Mari, Martina, Anna and Sascha is linked by friendship, professional ambitions for plant-based cooking and a desire to create a unique, shared experience. Our joint cooking history started at Oproer, a plant-based restaurant in Utrecht, where Mari Pitkänen and Martina Bovini worked together as chefs. Now everyone is excited to embark on this new adventure together! The shared vision will be continued as past labour is expanded upon to share our experiences with eco-friendly, plant-based food activism translated into cooking as storytelling.

unique place to experience

Metaal kathedraal

Kasvio is part of a growing ecosystem at Metaal Kathedraal, including cultural events, a herb garden, a mushroom farm, maker spaces and artists in residence. Metal Kathedraal is a platform for building an Ecological Cultural Laboratory, working at the intersection of art, science and ecology. 

Kasvio restaurant provides in-house catering for Metaal Kathedraal. Next to its function as a cultural ecosystem, Metaal Kathedraal can also be rented for your own event. 

unique place to experience

Metaal kathedraal

Metaal Kathedraal: An Ecological Cultural Laboratory, working at the intersection of art, science and design. A monumental location where we have been building towards a regenerative society, stemming from ecological intelligence, since 2010. Kasvio is part of the growing ecosystem of Metaal Kathedraal that includes intercultural events, a herb garden, a mushroom farm, maker spaces, circular outdoor expo and artists-in-residence.

Kasvio restaurant is the resident in-house catering of Metaal Kathedraal. Next to its function as a cultural ecosystem, Metaal Kathedraal also offers you the possibility to rent a space for your own event.