Michelin star chefs and soup kitchen cooks will compete during the 2019 Zero Food Waste Challenge in New York, serving up dishes using upcycled ingredients for judges and the public alike. As part of New York City’s Food Waste Fair, which invites food lovers and foodservice professionals to the Brooklyn Navy Yard on May 23, 2019, attendees will learn how chefs cultivate a more sustainable food system straight out of their kitchens.
One third of all food produced globally each year is wasted according to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization, while one in eight people in New York is food insecure, according to Feeding America’s Map the Meal Gap 2017 study. In New York State alone, supermarkets, restaurants, colleges, and hospitals waste over 250,000 tons of food annually. The NY State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) estimates that recovering just 5 percent of this food—diverting it from landfills—would decrease carbon dioxide emissions from these sites by 120,000 metric tons. As part of the state’s initiatives to reduce food waste and its impacts on the environment, DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos announced grant funding to divert edible food from landfills. “New York is already transforming the way we look at food waste and its implications for local communities by recognizing the importance of food scraps on our environment, economy, and health,” says Seggos.
At New York’s Zero Food Waste Challenge, the chefs—including Lighthouse’s Naama Tamir and Gramercy Tavern’s Michael Anthony—will prepare individually inspired meals for judges and guests to try. Dishes like cauliflower “bone marrow,” gochujang vegetable stem tacos, and almond and cashew milk panna cotta will appear alongside pineapple core infused cocktails. Host Jake Cohen, Editorial and Test Kitchen Director at The Feedfeed, will moderate a conversation featuring judges and chefs to learn more about the story and cooking process behind each dish.
The Food Waste Fair’s expo and workshop series features tasty and informative events open to the general public and sustainability advocates throughout the month of May. The interactive experiences hosted by The Foundation for New York’s Strongest connect the hospitality industry with the knowledge and resources to support more widespread transitions to zero food waste practices.
Hands-on workshops will help chefs and industry professionals refine their skills to reduce food waste, allowing them to understand how incorporating sustainable operations can be both beneficial for the planet profitable for their businesses. Eighty food waste solution exhibitors—like Rethink NYC and the U.S. Composting Council—will represent companies creatively using technologies to advance food waste reduction models. And throughout the day, speakers will tackle topics like utilizing excess food for those in need and alternatives for bridging the gap for organic waste or energy recovery such as composting.
Tickets for the Food Waste Fair’s Zero Food Waste Challenge on May 23 are still available for purchase HERE.