'If food waste was a country, it’d be the third biggest contributor of greenhouse gases after China and USA.' - Wrap
Food waste is a global issue and something we have great awareness of at Chestnut. We are conscious of the produce we use in our kitchens; where we source it, how it is grown or reared, and the impact our choices have on our environment and community. We actively seek ways to improve and make our contribution to much needed change in our industry. Even the smallest changes can lead to a greater impact and change for the better when we all do what we can.
#FoodWasteWeek is a time which reminds us to take stock of our own waste procedures and how we can make those all important steps to being less wasteful and more sustainable. We recently talked to Steve, Head Chef at The Packhorse Inn, about how he conscientiously strives to minimise waste in his kitchen. 'In our leek soup, we use only the leek tops that are left over from our lamb dish from the main menu. They are put on the BBQ to caramelised, allowing all the natural sweetness to come out and we then finish in a vegetable stock made using the trimmings we have left over; for example carrot peel, turnip ends, and onion stalks, all full of goodness and flavour, so there really is no waste from our vegetable prep.'
When constructing his menus, Steve considers everything from the locality of the vegetables, to the living conditions of poultry and livestock. Steve says, 'The dairy cow is a product we love to use. They are put out to pasture usually at about 5 years old and have lived a good life. Because of this, the meat they produce has huge flavour and has great fat marbling, it is a much more sustainable choice to use for our beef dishes. Used the right way, it is utterly delicious with a much stronger flavour than your average beef. In our Ragu dish, we take all the trim from our strip loin that we use on our Sunday roast and we mince it down. The Gnocchi are made using the potato trim from our hand cut chips which are on our a la carte menu, so once again, not letting anything go to waste.'
Focusing on reducing waste can also be fun and creative. For example, take the Cereal Milk Panna Cotta from The Market Menu. 'This is a bit of a light-hearted dish which brings back memories from my childhood, and the taste of the milk leftover after a bowl of cereal. To make the dessert we use the cereal crumbs from the end of a box of cornflakes and infuse it with milk and double cream overnight, so the milk takes on that lovely flavour!'