Some of New York’s sustainable food-scene influencers recently gathered for a zero waste meal and to discuss ways to maximize resources to minimize waste.
The meal was prepared by Douglas McMaster, a zero waste chef who buys ingredients directly from farmers for his restaurant in Brighton, England. Throughout the course of the meal, McMaster educated attendees on how to compost and minimize food waste.
Before the meal came to an end, The New Yorker reports, talk turned to the trash in the ocean and masses of plastic pollution that washes up on beaches.
The New Yorker has more details:
The other day, in the kitchen of an event space called Fitzcarraldo, in Brooklyn, a visiting chef named Douglas McMaster was putting the final touches on a meal of what he called “supernatural peasant food.” McMaster is a zero-waste chef, meaning that his meals produce no trash. At his restaurant, Silo, in Brighton, England, he buys ingredients directly from farmers, to avoid grocery-store packaging, and returns peels and trimmings in the form of compost, creating what he calls a “closed loop.” His recipes strive to incorporate the whole vegetable. “So, like, these carrot tops, for instance,” he said, pointing to a plate of charred carrot disks. “Ten per cent went into that oil, ninety per cent went into the treacle”—a dark sauce made from vegetable scraps. “We maximize our resources to minimize waste.”
The dinner was organized by Lauren Singer, the twenty-seven-year-old founder of Package Free Shop, in Williamsburg. (She’s best known for fitting six years’ worth of trash into a single Mason jar.) At Fitzcarraldo, she said that she’d been “obsessed” with McMaster since discovering his work on Instagram. “I’d always thought that restaurants are inherently unsustainable, but Doug kind of shifted my whole conception,” she said. She’d organized the event, she added, to “spark conversation and community around zero waste and restaurants.”