As a kitchen we have moved away from hiding the unwanted and keeping all waste above table. This has not always gone down as a popular decision. Chefs are damn stubborn when it comes to change.
We are only focusing on one specific part of waste, the unwanted!
Perhaps calling unwanted parts as waste is incorrect as it still has a negative connotation associated with the part, the part needs to gain popularity in order to move up the chain and be wanted.
Recipes generally are created keeping in mind all the prime, good and sexy parts. Celery leaves are left garnishing the bin, green parts of leeks frowned at and the stalks from cauliflower and broccoli destined for either the bin or badly made soup. What we starting doing in our kitchen is writing recipes with waste in mind. Recipe books are to blame for poor cooking decisions like cross seasonal ingredients being used or no reference anywhere in what must happen with stalks and those unwanted pieces.
Food has become cheap, as it is too easy to bin something, instead of maximising each ingredient and using it to its full potential. We continuously consume without really looking at what we are consuming, wanting more and more and more. It is all just so convenient and so easy. If we felt it in our pocket we might think twice. We are so far removed from what reality is. We have no respect for ingredients, we have no respect for farmers who have taken months in growing beautiful vegetables just for us to show contempt for vegetables.
Part of this journey of ours is rediscovering ways of not wasting, maximising products in ways that guest can appreciate and staff can respect processes. We have started encouraging the lesser to be used before the popular in order to stimulate the use.
There has been numerous online publications, books as well as movies that have been written & created in order to expose and highlight the problem we face in kitchens all over from our modest homes to professional outfits with egos and attitudes.
There are off course limitations in that in some cases certain items cannot be used and for these we have a worm farm. Our objective is not to feed the worms, but instead use everything first and then feed the worms.
A good example is the quiche recipe used on our afternoon tea. It has specifically been formulated to use stalks from Swiss-chard as well a baby gem lettuce as part of the mix. This allows us to be responsible in our choices. In no part has the end product suffered.
This is a journey of discovery and learning how to cook!
Every Week a new picture will be published looking at our new favourite parts.