To the untrained palate, carrot leaf pesto registers the tiniest amount of blip. Making it nearly indistinguishable from the basil-saturated de rigueur iteration is the same vegetal flavor. but the ones behind RE – in Australia, it marks a paradigm shift in the way they present food and beverages. And for us diners – who order without knowing the origins, let alone the sustainability of the food we consume.
As the world’s first sustainable “waste-free” regenerative cocktail bar and restaurant, opening in 2021 in South Aveley, Inner West Sydney’s hottest new area, RE- speaks for itself in more ways than one. Not only is it located in a century-old locomotive workshop, but when I visited there earlier this year, I found that its recycled decor elements also pay homage to the altar of sustainability. Read: Terrazzo bars, table tops and even stairs are made from recycled milk bottles. The banquettes are upholstered in pineapple-fibre ‘leather’, and the light fixtures hanging above are grown from mushroom mycelium, not made.
RE – in Sydney
RE- Carrot Trim Hummus, Carrot Top Pesto, Pickled Carrots, and Yogurt Flat Bread
But it’s the cocktails and food that are the real reason this bar was awarded the Ketel One Sustainable Bar Award in 2021 among the 50 Best Bars in the World. “We started the ‘Never Wasted’ program in RE- to make people more confident about sharing their [food] Waste,'” founder-owner Matt Waity shared in a recent podcast interview with Australian F&B industry insider Dirty Linen. “For example, there’s still a lot of strawberry [discarded] Above all, we make strawberry water and serve it in a fig leaf gin and rhubarb aperitif called Ruby.
Founder-Owner Matt Waite
Imaginative upcycling comes to the fore, with their coffee liqueur and other old-fashioned libations made from recycled coffee grounds, waste wine vermouth and martini caviar, which is sent up with sweet syrup made from discarded banana peels. While savory dishes like the aforementioned Carrot Leaf Pesto come with Roasted Carrot Hummus. Both products of the “imperfect” product rejected by the supermarket would have otherwise rotted in a landfill.
green stars and zero waste
Did you know that it takes 25 years for a piece of lettuce to decompose when thrown in a landfill? As opposed to only two weeks if composted correctly. Such irrefutable facts as well as the startling fact that one-third of all food is wasted without any human touch has only recently made the food world wake up and pay attention. And it took a raging pandemic to put things in perspective.
First revealed in 2020, the Michelin Green Star was introduced in several editions from 2021 michelin guide Worldwide. According to the website, it was started as an annual award that “highlights restaurants that are at the forefront of the industry in terms of their sustainable practices”.
RE- On carrots, prepared in the same way as katsuobushi
To that end, we’ve seen other sustainability-oriented restaurants around the world such as the all-vegan Freya in Berlin, Germany with its on-site composter machine – where the composted material is sent back to the farmers who grow the vegetables for the restaurant Has – Recently win Green Star. Another recipient, Rest in Oslo, Norway, is famous for curating menus that include bland or malformed vegetables that are typically rejected by most fine-dining chefs.
Internationally, other initiatives such as B Corp and zero waste certification are making it easier for travelers to choose where to eat and drink. While the former is a private certification of companies’ social and environmental performance, the latter requires that a business or organization achieve at least 90% diversion of non-hazardous solid waste from landfills, incinerators and the environment.
keep it at the forefront pistiki The Italian Trattoria in New York, USA, which opened its doors last year, is a B Corp certified inner-city restaurant that is not only low-waste, energy efficient and carbon neutral, but also cultivates and composts its own organic produce. organic waste. “We’re closing the circle: regenerating the land instead of contributing to landfill and climate change,” says co-owner Vivian Forte. “We compost the organic matter we get from our restaurants and take it to our farm where it feeds the plants which, when mature, will return it to your plate. Then the process starts again.”
Michael Forte, Co-Owner at The Farm
Pisticki’s Al Fresco Dining
Across the pond, the aptly named London restaurant that effectively manages production waste silo, It has its own flour mill, churns its own butter, and also uses a nose-to-tail philosophy. This means that every part of the animal is used. Like RE-, Silo also features dining furniture made from upcycled materials and crockery made from crushed wine bottles. Most recently, they announced plans to collaborate with a local brewery in the UK to make sour beer from the invasive plant Japanese knotweed, and a six-course dinner will include ingredients from British environmentalists’ most-wanted list.
Silo chefs are searching for Alexander Parag
Japanese knotweed spears
India is taking small steps
Back home, we may not have dedicated regenerative restaurants yet, but some are taking steps in the right direction. Food Archives of Goa India is a pioneer in the sustainable dining game – from using local glutinous rice in lieu of imported sushi rice to liaising with local farmers for fresh vegetables and other produce, to storing wet waste in its on-site garden composting pit I am trying my hand at everything till composting. , “Changes like these are necessary because we need to realize that climate change and the future of food are intertwined. If we don’t think about sustainability and don’t connect the dots now, it may be too late,” says chef and founder Anumitra Ghosh Dastidar, who started the restaurant in 2019.
Chef Anumitra Ghosh Dastidar | Photo Credit: Adil Hasan
Congee | Photo Credit: Rushika Tyabji
Further down south, Ibni Resort in Coorg has an interesting policy: it puts the burden of mindful consumption on the shoulders of diners. After each meal, the food waste generated at each table in their restaurant is weighed. The foodie is then charged the cost of the weight of the waste (approximately ₹100 per 10 grams) and the amount goes to a kitty which is then donated to orphanages in Coorg. A really strong effort to solve a big problem. And we need more of them in the country.
The Mumbai-based writer and restaurant critic is passionate about food, travel and luxury, not necessarily in that order.