Specialty Food Magazine

Spring 2020

Specialty Food Magazine is the leading publication for retailers, manufacturers and foodservice professionals in the specialty food trade. It provides news, trends and business-building insights that help readers keep their businesses competitive.

Issue link: https://www.e-digitaleditions.com/i/1220124

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Page 34 of 75

Along with spoons, Ratino eschews all plastic except Saran Wrap. "But I think we have a bigger impact with food," he says, and he takes care to have minimal food waste through various means. He buys whole proteins to use the whole animal, rendering fat instead of buying oil, making stock, and making sausage from offal. He also watches his deliveries carefully and often stops by the airport on his way to work to pick up fresh fish and proteins, since it's on his way. And he lines up his orders to receive dry deliveries just once a week. In late 2018 Halley Chambers and her partner Henry Rich, held six dinners in Brooklyn, N.Y., working with Douglas McMaster, a zero-waste restaurant pioneer in the U.K. "Once we'd had that experience, of looking at how restaurants contribute to carbon and waste, we couldn't look back," Chambers says. Less than a year later, they opened Rhodora, a wine bar in Brooklyn, with the goal of being zero waste. The most startling thing about the restaurant is there is no garbage can. Product is reused, recycled, or composted. There is no plastic. Chambers made the huge step of eliminating Saran Wrap and instead uses reusable beeswax wrap from Abeego. She also worked closely with all vendors, from linen delivery to beverages, to ensure no plastic was used. "In many ways we created a closed-loop system," she says. The bread, for example, is delivered, unwrapped, in tubs, which are returned to the baker and reused. Search for Suppliers As part of a surprising but effective move, there's no takeout at Rhodora, which was a difficult decision, according to Chambers. "We're in the hospitality business but we don't offer takeout. Because of that, we're conscious about plating and portioning. We've never had complaints but it's definitely not the typical American way of big portions," she says. Vendor sourcing was a lengthy process. "It took a long time to find vendors who were incorporating these practices or working towards them," Chambers notes. And while the restaurant prizes locality, which minimizes shipping, "it's about supporting other businesses with similar missions," she says. The wine mostly comes from Europe, but it's all made "using regenerative processes which makes the ground ready to capture more carbon," she explains. She also only buys wine in recyclable bottles with recyclable corks. She sends the latter to ReCork, which upcycles them. "We're always looking for opportunities to upcycle rather than recycle," she says, since less recycling is done now. Adhering to these practices makes a huge impact in a restaurant and it's informed the creation of the whole menu. Certain dishes and foods aren't featured—Chambers decided to eliminate meat completely, due to its heavy environmental impact— as well as items like imported cheese, at-risk seafood, and unsustainable nuts like almonds. Overall, says Chambers, getting Rhodora operational "was a daunting task but the day-to- day operation is seamless and has showed this is not an impossible task." Carbon Neutrality To offset anything that doesn't fall within its own rules, Rhodora invests in carbon negative measures, "so we're only taking as much carbon out as we're putting in." She does this through the restaurant's partnership with Zero Foodprint in San Francisco. 32 SPECIALTY FOOD SPECIALTYFOOD.COM ZERO WASTE 14 Ways to Reduce Waste Here are some ideas the restaurants and campus dining operators Specialty Food interviewed have implemented to address food waste and carbon neutrality. • Use stainless steel spoons for tasting in the kitchen. • Buy whole proteins to use the whole animal. • Line up orders to receive dry deliveries only once a week. • Eliminate garbage cans and instead have product reused, recycled, or composted. • Use reusable beeswax wraps instead of plastic wrap. • Do not offer takeout. • Buy wine in recyclable bottles with recyclable corks. • Partner with Zero Foodprint. • Use certain parts of a vegetable that would be thrown away, like leaves and stems. • Cut down on red meat on the menu. • Eliminate Styrofoam and disposable plates and cutlery. • Halt purchases of bottled water, moving instead to filtered tap water. • Reduce straw and plastic lid use simply by placing them in an inconvenient location. • Introduce a reusable food container program. PHOTOS: LIZ CLAYMAN Halley Chambers and Henry Rich of Rhodora, which strives to be zero waste. Rhodora uses no plastic and product is reused, recycled, or composted.

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