What is fine dining? Before we go out for dinner, we ask ourselves “What do I feel like eating today?” Whatever the answer is, we always know where we can find it. If it’s pizza we crave, we go to an Italian restaurant, if it’s a quesadilla, we go to a Mexican restaurant, and so it goes…
Nowadays, we expect all-encompassing experiences and ongoing novelty when going out for dinner. We are accustomed to not taking risks, so we go somewhere familiar, in our neighbourhood, where the menu is always the same. But what about taking risks? What about the experience of being pleasantly surprised?
ONA was born for the curious restaurant-goers, the risk-takers who value creativity, taste, and sustainability. We create unique and ephemeral food experiences in unexpected places. We may storm into your city and transform that place you walk by every day and give it a new name and purpose – perhaps just for a few days. When it’s over, we leave behind something that will not be experienced again. Much like a wave.
In Catalan ONA means wave, and, as the name suggests, we are breaking new ground in the dining industry by washing fleeting food events ashore. We have opened three pop-up restaurants so far: ONA at the Beach (Costa da Caparica, Portugal), Basel on Fire (Basel, Switzerland) and L’appart (Paris, France). All of them have a unique identity and menu and a different team of young chefs turning the gears.
Freedom for young chefs
After working in some of the world’s best restaurants, our founder, Luca Pronzato, realized that young chefs are often held back from putting their own identity into their food. ONA was created as a platform to redefine the whole dining experience, by giving young chefs the liberty to fully express their art, and to do it on their terms. “Freedom for young chefs” is our mission and motto. If you are wondering why this project exists, the answer lies in those four words.
ONA’s suppliers, from winemakers to vegetable growers, also come from all backgrounds. Our bread at Ona at the Beach comes from Gleba, a bakery that makes bread with cereals from small producers that practise sustainable agriculture. While some of our wines at L’Appart came from Bulles de Comptoir, by Charles Dufour, a family vineyard in France. Fighting for a more sustainable world has never been more critical, that and it’s incomparable taste, is why we support organic farming.
By putting these incredible producers in the spotlight, our chefs can create meaningful relationships with them and work with the best local and seasonal ingredients of their own choosing. It’s a win-win-win. Local producers get the recognition they deserve, our chefs get to cook with the best ingredients, and our guests get to enjoy delicious one-of-a-kind meals.
Finally, a pop-up restaurant, contrary to popular belief, doesn’t just “pop-up” out of nowhere. Instead of building new restaurants from nothing, ONA breathes new life into old places. This goes hand in hand with our promise of sustainability and makes each new ONA restaurant, no matter how big or small or how long it lasts, extraordinary.
Where goes the tide?
What can you expect from ONA in the future? We suspect you already know! In one simple word: Change. We plan to change the process on the out-dated operational side of cuisine, to create an environment full of originality and good vibes for young chefs. We’re not really into old rules and processes, it’s time to reinvent so that we can work better and happier.
We also want to create a community that inspires people from all corners of the world to step into a restaurant they’ve never seen before, sit at our table and experience a new culture of fine dining. Join our ONA.
Follow the wave: