In London’s intensely competitive restaurant scene, food waste is no sideline issue. How to make the idea of leftovers appealing? It’s no easy task, but we’re seeing “no waste” menus crop up again and again, from Skye Gyngell’s Scratch menu at Spring to Mr Lyan’s no-perishables bar, Cub. Let’s have a look at the new harvest…
If you’re going to cook with waste food for paying customers, it’s best to make it something new entirely. And that’s what Ikoyi are setting out to do with their Staff Food Waste Project: Ikoyi chefs will be creating a one-off tasting menu of four dishes, based on the waste products from their kitchen. At the moment it’s just a pop up series (the next one is on 27th May), but we can’t help but think it would be the ideal way to test the water for something more permanent – watch this space.
We’re keeping an eye on Karma, a new Swedish app that helps match restaurants, bars and cafés with customers happy to buy unsold food for half price. They’ve already got Aquavit, Essence Cuisine, Magpie, and Detox Kitchen on board – just buy a dish and pick up at your allotted time. At the moment it works especially well in Soho and Clerkenwell – give it a spin next time you’re in central without solid dinner plans.
It’s also worth mentioning a couple that may have passed you by (they did with us!). Adam Handling’s Bean & Wheat is a sustainable delicatessen designed by the chef to use leftover ingredients from the Frog kitchens. Adam aims to make his restaurants waste-free in the future: cold-pressed juices from misshapen fruit, duck liver parfait and pork terrine all help the cause. And then there’s Nine Lives, the zero-waste, closed-loop cocktail specialist in Bermondsey with a herb garden behind it to create essential oils for the bar’s liqueurs – book a booth!
Sustainability at heart? We’re finally warming to the idea.