What inspired the menu at WastED?
We collaborated with farmers and producers across the food chain, and the results were so surprising. We found out that Organic Food Incubator [where Liquiteria cold-presses its juices] generates one ton of pulp per day; we used some of that to make our beet burgers. Acme Smoked Fish was throwing out 10,000 pounds of bones every month; we served the sable bones with the meat stuck to them. It was like discovering a completely new palette of ingredients, many of which have made their way onto our Blue Hill menu.
What was your biggest takeaway?
Each time I thought I’d come up with a brand-new concept, one of the guest chefs would invariably say, “My grandmother did that.” For instance, I made hamburger buns from old bread soaked with milk; then Dominique Ansel told me his grandmother would do that. I had the brainstorm to make buffalo wings out of skate cartilage; then Danny Bowien told me the classic Cantonese name for the dish. These are all ageless ideas.
- Dan Barber Makes You Rethink Carrots
- Dan Barber’s Tips for Cooking, Eating and Living Sustainably
- Dan Barber’s Responsible Chicken Soup
How can home cooks stop wasting food?
At Blue Hill, we constantly audit our kitchen waste, asking ourselves what is not being used and what we might make with it. That’s something any home cook can do: Look at your carrot and turnip tops and think pesto. Or soup. Working with this stuff stretches you as a cook and makes you more mindful and creative.