When chefs and restaurateurs talk about sustainability in their restaurants, they’re usually focused on one aspect of it. I’ve yet to find a restaurant or chef that fully commits to sustainability in a way that it could change the way we look at leftovers or even how we would manage a restaurant (or our own kitchens) to benefit the earth.
I’ve yet to find that.. until my dinner at Graffiti Earth, the second restaurant from Chef/Owner Jehangir Mehta–runner-up at the Next Iron Chef 2009, a participant in the Iron Chef America and a guest on Martha Stewart Living
The dinner highlighted both the sustainability style of Chef Mehta combined with Japanese flavors and techniques from Chef Atsushi Nakahigashi, the founder of the innovative food and beverage company NAKAHIGASHI in Kyoto, Japan, and OneRiceOneSoup INC.
The result was an eclectic mix of flavors with a wonderful underlying message. The menu featured dishes, such as broken scallops, which normally get thrown away because they aren’t ‘pretty’ for restaurant standards. Guess what?? They were incredible. In addition to the sustainable dishes, the decor featured reused furniture, newspaper placemats, napkins made from renewable material (and cut small for water waste) and glassware donated from other restaurants that weren’t being used. To sum up, maybe we take our food for granted and can be more mindful about how we cook and create an ambiance and substitute it for the greater good.