Waste not want not is a commonly used saying as we all know but I fear that not everyone lives it.

Waste is a hot topic on everyone’s lips at the minute, in particular food waste. 30% of the world’s food is wasted and in the UK, every year, we throw away an estimated 5 million tons of food that is perfectly edible! I don’t know about you, but that number is terrifying to me!

It is different for the chefs at bartlett mitchell as we see the whole process from building relationships with our suppliers, seeing the food come into the kitchens, being prepared, cooked and served and ultimately the end of the process where some items go into the waste stream.

As chefs, we naturally avoid waste wherever we can as this has been drilled into us during all our careers.

  • Firstly, we all have financial targets to achieve and buying food, which is expensive, just to lob it in the bin is foolish.
  • Secondly, you should never waste a flavour! Use all the animal, herb stalks, veg off cuts, rendered fats from cooking etc… They all have amazing flavours, so putting them in the bin, is not the smartest thing you can do.

Waste has been on the agenda at bartlett mitchell for the last 5 years.

We have made it part of our culture and DNA to produce as little food waste as possible. One of the culinary team’s main jobs is to provide the training and the tools for the chefs to be able to do the best job they possibly can.

To help reduce food waste we run a quarterly workshop called #Wasted. Here we hand out an ever growing recipe bank to the teams which shows them delicious recipes for items that would usually find their way into the bin, anything from cucumber end pickles, herb stem salsa and oil, braised broccoli stems, core piccalilli or our signature porridge breads just to name a few.

Using some of these products can take a little bit more work and effort from the chefs but once they can all see the results then they just take off.

We have even recently held events with high profile clients using only ingredients that were past their best or potentially wasted and with no reduction in food quality or flavour so it really does show it can be done.

Like with everything in food, this is an ever evolving piece and with new and old techniques like fermentation, a whole new world of recipes and flavours has opened up for the whole bartlett mitchell family to enjoy and help us all together reduce food waste.

If you’re looking for a lovely recipe to use up any leftover potatoes how about this recipe for potato doughnuts