28 Jun 2023
By- Arjun S Datta Chief Operating Officer
Food is one of the most precious resources we have ever had, and most of us forget how little thought we put towards conserving it and building awareness of reducing wastage.
When asked what ‘Zero Waste Cooking’ means to us, most of us think about it as a trending topic amongst most forums and chefs nowadays. For some, this may relate to the fond memory of our childhood when leftover rice from the night before was used to make kheer or leftover roti was made into a ‘Bessan Ki Roti’ - or my personal favorite. This leftover cake becomes trifle pudding.
One might ask, were these creations all accidental wonders or deliberate efforts of grandmothers and chefs alike to do something very close to their hearts, “Zero Waste Cooking”? I’d like to think that it was the latter.
As Chefs, there are chefs across the country who are building awareness about this subject in many ways. Chef Megha Kohli, Head Chef at Lavaash by Saby ensures her kitchen and team is a Zero Waste Operation. During her keynote address to our students this year, she narrated how she takes simple and effective steps to reduce wastage. This includes pickling all her leftover vegetable trimmings or making garnishes from peels.
As consumers, let’s also embrace this in our daily lives. “Be the change we want to see”, as Gandhi had said. One can be conscious of where we eat and educate ourselves about the consequences. Though it may not be easy now, but I believe that the more we ask, the more we find out.
As an Institute, we have always strived to ensure that our students imbibe the values expected of modern kitchen operations, the salient features being - hygiene and zero-waste cooking. In the spirit of knowledge exchange on the subject of Zero Waste Cooking, IICA has the privilege to be a part of the 4th Edition of the World Week of Italian Cuisine, an initiative by the Italian Embassy, New Delhi.
In this edition of the World Week of Italian Cuisine, Italy’s premier culinary institute, ALMA, will be deeply involved with IICA at our New Delhi campus, and conduct workshops with our students to demonstrate the true essence of #ZeroWasteCooking.
There are 5 steps all of us can adopt to take our kitchens a step closer to #ZeroWasteCooking:
- 1. Use the correct well-maintained tools for the job, Sharp knives for cutting fruit/vegetables/meat reduce wastage.
- 2. Don’t buy pre-processed ingredients, for example- it’s better to cut your vegetables yourself.
- 3. Understand your ingredients well, for example- Egg Shells and Extracted Coffee Powder make good fertilizers.
- 4. Planning Menus’ is the key, plan ahead of time what can be made from trimmings/leftovers.
- 5. Store ingredients properly, all ingredients have different requirements of temperature and moisture.