The Why Waste? Project returns for its second year with Massimo Bottura challenging three of the most influential chefs from around the world to transform food unjustly categorized as ‘waste’ into imaginative and delicious dishes. Representing USA is Dominique Crenn, the only female chef in the US with three Michelin stars.
The aim of the Why Waste? is to create engaging content to inspire people to adopt a more responsible behaviour to save food from being wasted by asking the question “why is this waste?”.
“We have to change the narrative,” says Crenn. “Waste is not a bad word, it is just something that is leftover. It is an opportunity to do something else with the food so have fun with it!” Alongside Crenn representing the UK is Sat Bains of two-Michelin star restaurant with rooms located in Nottingham, in the north of the UK and representing France is Césare Troisgros, the fourth-generation continuing the legendary story of La Maison Troisgros, which has held three Michelin stars since 1968 for 54 years.
Each chef is given food items by Bottura that are perceived as waste to transform into something new to inspire people to look at leftover food differently. Each chef works with their local teams to produce a dish they then present back to Bottura. The challenges are presented in three videos hosted by FineDininglovers.com in ingredient categories; Vegetable Trimmings, Over-Ripe Fruits, Stale Bread.
Crenn is given two challenges, the first with over-ripe fruits she transforms peaches that would have otherwise been thrown away into a smoothie infused with verbena and almond milk.
“No-one should ever waste overripe fruits. We have to be creative, use everything even the skin, this is where everything is, it is delicious and contains lots of vitamins,” explains Crenn.
In her second challenge Crenn is given stale bread from which she creates a delicate bread and tomato millefeuille. The old bread is both sliced thinly as well as breadcrumbed; the slices create the layers and the breadcrumbs are added to deep-fried garlic and shallots to create a crumble. Vegan mayonnaise and basil leaves complete the dish. The other videos show Bains makes a Tutti Frutti ice cream from vegetable peelings and crackers from leftover bread. Troisgros produces a carrot salad from vegetable trimmings and a meringue dessert from over-ripe fruit.
The format brings attention to the mission of Food for Soul and Refettorio projects around the world, where daily culinary teams divert food surplus from landfill, transforming the otherwise wasted ingredients into nourishing meals and hunger relief served with hospitality to those most socially vulnerable. Since the first Refettorio opening in 2015, Bottura has cultivated a cultural movement to save food from waste while addressing long-term food security and food system sustainability serving as a UNEP Goodwill Ambassador.
“Approximately 17% of food is wasted at the consumer-level while 10% of the world goes hungry. In our kitchens, at home, we can make a significant difference, starting with simple habits that save food from waste. As chefs you see leftovers as ingredients that have the potential to be something special. The goal of this series is to inspire you and show you how to create amazing recipes for you and your family” says Massimo Bottura.
“We are proud to be playing our part to encourage the vital step towards a cultural shift in attitude towards food waste. Why do we decide that food has become waste before we’ve actually used it? We sincerely hope that these videos will inspire home chefs around the world with valuable information, techniques and delicious ideas on how to look at food differently – to never look at leftovers in the same way again” says Ryan King, Editor-in-Chief of Finedininglovers.com
The three videos, hosted on https://finedininglovers.com/whywaste are categorised into food groups: Vegetable Trimmings, Over-Ripe Fruits, Stale Bread and are also available with French, Italian and Spanish subtitles.
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