Two decades ago, the restaurant industry whipped up menus according to what chefs enjoyed cooking and what guests liked to eat with few other considerations about the world around them. Today, our food industry has drastically changed with an increased awareness of where food comes from, the seasonality of ingredients and other sustainability approaches to food. Waste management in the kitchen and other ethical practices have fast become something many restaurants, eateries and cafés need to consider to do their part in our environmental climate. Let’s put the food industry on the hot seat and learn more about sustainability in this industry.
Sustainability and locality are buzzwords we are sure you have heard in the past few years when talking and reading about food. Often, when we hear these words, our minds jump to the idea of sitting in a wine-farm eatery and munching on the fresh vegetables produced right on the farm. This is a beautiful visual but for many restaurants, this may not be possible or feasible. However, as consumers have become more aware of what and how they eat, the industry as a whole is shifting towards ethical sourcing, sustainable ingredients and plant-based dining. From small changes to big statements, kitchens everywhere are seeing the change.
Keeping your menu seasonal is one thing your restaurant can do to become more sustainable and earth-friendly. Operating this way requires a certain amount of flexibility and creativity on the part of the chefs (which is why we love innovative cooking in our classroom), but the quality is well worth the effort. Fresh produce and good protein can make a meal all that more delectable.
In terms of sourcing and locality, we’re seeing chefs getting more serious than ever. Local suppliers can bring your restaurant or eatery the best quality items for your menu. Speaking of your menu, sustainable food sourcing can actually lead to a much more refined, varied, and high-quality selection of dishes — and this is what makes food artful.
There is a growing demand for vegetarian and vegan food both locally and abroad, where once it was very rarely found on the menu of restaurants. Dairy and protein are not just expensive items, but they are also the least sustainable ingredient in a place of food. Your restaurant can reduce its impact by replacing a meat option or two with more plant-based options. These dishes can be interesting, creative and most importantly, tasty.
We have a few vegan and vegetarian dishes on our menu that everyone is sure to enjoy.
From leftover food packaging to old kitchen supplies, a kitchen can produce a ton of waste. Restaurants and bars will find that by setting up waste management in the kitchen they can reduce the amount of waste produced and reduce their disposal costs. Of course, recycling is an amazing way to move into a sustainable space and reduce your carbon footprint.
As passionate chefs and foodies, it is of the utmost importance that our students learn how key it is to do what they can to support the environment and the sustainability movement. We encourage local sourcing of ingredients by sourcing our eggs from ethical suppliers and using organically farmed chickens, as well as supporting other local suppliers.
We love recycling! As a school, we recycle our spent oil and have a glass recycling station where staff and students can recycle glass bottles, glass food containers, glass jars and more.
We also teach non-wastage. This inspires our future chefs to use as much of their ingredients as possible, letting them get creative sometimes and use their imaginations — some of the best dishes come out of this technique. During practical exams, students even get marked down for wastage.
1000 Hills Chef School’s campus is set amongst a scenic landscape of the Valley of 1000 Hills, a beautiful feature in our exquisite country. We want to be a part of the solution in keeping the environment clean and changing the way we do things, to ensure our space stays the way it is!
Let’s work together and be kind to the planet – it’s the only one with chocolate (vegan chocolate, too).