Food wastage has long haunted the food and hospitality sector across the world. On the occasion of World Environment Day, we bring you the handful of zero-waste restaurants that are leading the way in protecting the environment, while serving up delicious plates. By Shikha Pushpan
The brainchild of zero-waste chef Doug McMaster and perishable-free mixologist Mr Lyan, CUB does the sustainability bit in style. The restaurant has embraced the low-waste revolution, wherein it uses no perishables, no fruit, and no ice in its efforts to reduce waste. It sources plant-based ingredients produced using small-scale “polycultural” methods and uses eco-friendly essentials, such as biodegradable bamboo straws.
Located in New York’s Tribeca neighborhood, the restaurant follows zero-waste policies both in and outside the kitchen. While Chef Jehangir Mehta ensures the dishes are in line with the restaurant’s sustainability policy, the dining room of the Graffiti Earth uses furniture made from renewable materials, down to the napkins.
Started by a group of volunteers passionate about putting discarded food to good use, Freegan Pony is a vegetarian restaurant, with an open kitchen, housed in a concrete and brick storehouse tucked under a highway in Paris. Here, the dining room is only lit by the light from the window and the lamps and candles on every table, the pillars covered with decorated moss, and the kitchen equipped with bare minimals needed to prepare each meal. The kitchen is run by eight chefs on rotation and a bunch of volunteers.
This zero-waste soup-kitchen in Milan does not take any reservations, but has attracted Michlein-star chefs, such as Alain Ducasse and Daniel Humm. A fully operational kitchen started as part of the Expo Milano 2015, The Refettorio Ambrosiano is a project to feed children, homeless people, and refugees. Every morning, the chefs anxiously wait for a food truck that arrives at the restaurant from a nearby supermarket. Loaded with bread, pasta, meats, fish, or tinned goods close to their expiry date, the truck throws a surprise at the visiting chefs.
Aptly named the “fish bar with a green heart”, Rozelle-based love.fish follows the zero-waste policy to the core. Besides using green energy and recycling packaging, the zero-waste restaurant gives its leftovers to Earth Power, a company that converts food scraps onto compost and fertilizers.
The only vegan hospitality property in the country, Ravens is a 100-per cent plant-based eco-resort. The property also boasts of its own USDA-certified organic farm and uses locally-harvested products. The food and organic waste from the restaurant is composted and used for the property’s garden beds, cutting down on the use of artificial fertilizers.
The recipient of several awards for its sustainability initiatives, the Bristol-based Poco Tapas Bar composts or recycles almost 100 per cent of its waste every day. While the kitchen uses seasonal and local produce to serve its small plates, it also keeps a check on what comes back to the kitchen and recycles it for optimum in-house utilisation.
New Krishna Bhavan, Bengaluru
Probably the only Indian restaurant with a zero-waste tag, New Krishna Bhavan on Bengaluru’s Sampige Road started the process of 3Rs—reduce, recycle, reuse way back in 2013. With a footfall of about 2,000 guests every day, the restaurant produces upto 50,000 kgs of waste daily. Among the many initiatives such as replacing plastic cutlery with steel, selling dry waste to ragpickers instead of scrap dealers, the wet waste (which comprises 90 per cent of the total dump) is given to the local piggery with 300 to 400 pigs.