Zero waste restaurants
Last year saw the rise of the closed-loop cocktail, with bartenders like Duck & Waffle’s Rich Woods and Dandelyan’s Ryan Chetiyawardana making use of ingredients most chefs and bartenders would throw away, from avocado stones and burnt toast to lemon husks.
This year chefs will be following their zero waste lead in a movement pioneered in the UK by Doug McMaster, head chef of Silo in Hackney, which markets itself as the world’s first zero waste restaurant that operates with a “pre industrial food system”.
At Silo nothing goes in the bin – food waste is turned into compost – and many of the ingredients, from the bread and butter to the oat milk and beer, are made on site. Even the furniture is made from recycled materials and the crockery from crushed wine bottles.
Ryan Chetiyawardana has adopted a similar philosophy at his restaurant and cocktail bar Cub in Hoxton, using considered ingredients, shining a light on plant-based dishes and working sustainably to prove that zero waste doesn’t have to mean zero taste.
Native in London Bridge, run by foraging fanatic Ivan Tisdall and Imogen Davis, makes use of every scrap in its zero waste canapés crafted from the offcuts from main courses, fish skin, day old bread and vegetable trim.
The pair work almost entirely with British ingredients and offer a £20 menu at weekends made with leftovers from the week.
Thai restaurant Smoking Goat has gone as far as employing an in-house butcher to make sure every morsel of meat is put to good use. Expect to see more zero waste restaurants popping up in London this year as reducing food waste becomes a top priority for operators.