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Gather Food Studio

Sun, July 16: From Trash To Table: Restaurant Food Waste

Sun, July 16: From Trash To Table: Restaurant Food Waste

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Sunday, July 16th, 1pm-5pm

From Trash To Table: Restaurant Food Waste with Dave

Have you ever thrown away food and wished that you could re-purpose it or make something delicious with it?  There is a way!  This year at Gather we’ve made a dedication to reduce our food waste and become more conscious about how we use ALL of our food.  In our new From Trash To Table Series we’ll be bringing you a new topic each month.  And since we’ll be using food scraps, it reduces our food cost…which means that we can donate it back into the community!  All of the profits from our From Trash To Table Series will be donated to Food To Power.  Food To Power has redistributed over $6 million of healthy groceries since 2013 in the Colorado Springs region. Using a "direct redistribution" model, Food to Power transports surplus healthy foods from local supermarkets, backyard gardens and cafeterias to 20+ non-profit and community-based grocery programs.

Our sixth month will continue to build on topics that we’ve discussed in our past five classes (but don’t worry, they aren’t required to take this one!).  In American Restaurants, on average a half of a pound of food (½ #) is thrown away per meal served, up to 10% of purchased food is thrown away before it even makes it to the customer, on average 80 billion pounds of food waste is produced by American restaurants annually, and on average an American restaurant will throw away 50,000 pounds of food annually – (that’s roughly 137 pounds of food waste a day.[]) Please let me clarify that this number is not solely kitchen waste but is also food waste leftover from the consumer/customer.

Having spent 20+ years in restaurants I can identify where a lot of this waste in the kitchen is generated and will show you ways that some of this waste can be utilized. I must also clarify that there is only a finite amount of time in a restaurant to devote to prep, so unfortunately not all of these techniques may be employed. I am not by any stretch of the imagination trying to condemn, chastise, or deplore any restaurant currently or previously in operation – but as we have had previous classes on direct consumer food waste, and retail outlet food waste, I thought it would be eye opening to conceptualize how much food waste is generated in restaurants.

I am going to do a deep dive for this class and contact the Culinary School I attended (Johnson & Wales) as well as some restaurants around the country and talk to some chefs and ask where they think their largest food waste issues lie. In an effort of anonymity, I will not disclose the names of the restaurants or the chefs I speak with, I will only give the city/state where the information was collected. Also, keep in mind that not all food waste is produced by the kitchen or the diner – there are many other factors at play that we will talk about.

In this class we are going to go over where I felt like my largest struggles with food waste in restaurants were and ways (that are absolutely applicable at home) that some of this waste can be prevented.

  • Protein trimmings/fats – how to render fats and make them usable for cooking or other applications. How to turn skin pieces into crunchy/crispy toppings.
  • Fruits and Vegetables with inedible peels – Pineapples are the worst. Pineapples and Butternut Squash. Pineapple skins make excellent sorbets and ice creams. Also, shrubs, aqua frescas, and teas. You can even make make vinegar with them. Butternut squash skins/peels – easiest thing to do is to roast them and make chips and snack on them, you can also replace potato chips with them on your next  casserole. you can also make dessert crumbles, other toppings with them. Dehydrate them and then turn them into powder and then make flatbreads. I can tell you in this class we will be doing this.
  • Egg whites/Shells – add to coffee to make less bitter. Use for consommes to clarify. Boil and let dry – pulverize and make calcium powder – add to smoothies or even dog food. Egg whites – easy. Meringue. Divinity. Mix with salt and make baked foods (like whole fish, or pork tenderloins, etc) in salt crusts. Marshmallows. Angel Food Cake.
  • Salad Greens, Lettuces, & Basil – The simplest answer is to puree and make a smoothie. But what about using them in a saute/stirfry? Larger lettuces are amazing grilled and used in salads. Lettuce soup? Why not. There is a Peruvian sauce called Aji Verde which is lettuce based and is served with Lomo Saltado (steak and fries). Basil – can be pureed and frozen in ice trays. Make pesto. Salad dressings, vinaigrettes. Infused oil for sauteing. Herbed Butters.

This class is going to specifically focus on the foods above and make some of the recipes/ideas I’ve listed – your mind will be blown at what you can make just from these few items. Imagine what you could make with everything you throw away!!!  This is a hands-on class.  This class is taught in our 2x4 format – we’ll split up into groups of 2 and each twosome will tackle one recipe.

My last two Trash to Tables will not focus on the gloomy aspects of food waste but will focus on amazing recipes from other cultures using food scraps and my last one (in November) just might be how to make components for a Thanksgiving dinner 😉

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Trash To Table

Don't miss our newest class that gives back! Join this series and the profits will be donated to Food To Power. Learn how to reduce food waste and make better use of food scraps that we would usually throw away!

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