To tackle the issue of food waste, Josh Treuhaft, founder and creative director for Salvage Supperclub and designer for Arup, used his passion for sustainability and the environment to transform his thesis project for the School of Visual Arts into an immersive dining experience that changes the way people think about food. Salvage Supperclub, which started off as a prototype, serves up creative and inspiring dishes using ingredients that would have otherwise gone to waste.
"I have an interest in food waste and urban sustainability issues so as part of my thesis, I focused on composting and trying to use design to engage people with the topic of wasted food and what we should be doing about it," says Treuhaft. "During that process, it became clear to me that engaging people with waste is not an easy task. A lot of people see it as icky, and food waste can make people feel guilty if they think about it too hard. Changing your waste behaviors is perceived as something that's difficult to do, but I wanted to create something that made it simpler."
Treuhaft first came up with the idea for Salvage Supperclub at his home one evening when he noticed a full container of mashed up carrots and ginger that were left over from making a carrot-ginger juice. First, he tried eating the leftovers by spoon, but discovered that they weren't very tasteful. Then, he decided to post a photo of the leftovers on Instagram with a caption asking for advice on how to make use of the food waste. He received a number of responses from his Instagram followers, which included recipe tips for making coleslaw, kimchi and stew. After receiving such positive advice and feedback, Treuhaft decided that instead of focusing on the waste, he should focus on how to connect the issue of waste to food consumption behaviors.
Salvage Supperclub gives diners a chance to step outside of the box and think about food and food waste in a different way. Since launching Salvage Supperclub’s first prototype event a couple years ago, it has hosted approximately 22 events across the nation.
“Things will change with time. I like doing new things and eventually want to try new models,” says Treuhaft. “We want to build collaborations with new chefs in new places, and we have been in discussions about a cookbook, which would feature recipes from the Salvage Supperclub. We have also started toying with the idea of doing a multi-city tour and building an eco-friendly retrofit trailer with a built-in kitchen.”
To learn more about Salvage Supperclub and its dumper dinner events, flip through the photo gallery.