One man’s trash is another man’s menu items.
Until March 31st, chef Dan Barber has turned his restaurant Blue Hill in New York City’s Greenwich Village into “wastED” – “a pop-up devoted to the theme of food waste and re-use,” focusing on “reconceiving ‘waste’ that occurs at every link in the food chain” and “creating something delicious out of the ignored or un-coveted.”
The menu features about 20 à la carte items all priced at $15 including delicious sounding dishes such as “fried skate wing cartilage,” “pasta trimmings” (served with “preserved monkfish tripe, smoked fish head sauce and cracklings”) and, for dessert, “charred pineapple core,” of course. In addition to the basic menu, daily specials will be provided by a variety of guest chefs, such as Mario Batali and Danny Bowien (tonight’s guest).
“The spirit of this project is to answer the critique of restaurants as places of pretension and waste,” Barber told Grub Street. “We want to utilize creativity to change the understanding of what's waste. It's about taking what's not coveted, or not even considered suitable for a menu, and making it delicious.”
The concept even extends to parts of the drink menu. The Boiler Maker features “flat beer syrup” and a cocktail called the “Immunity Booster” is made with “last night’s champagne.” Thankfully, however, the wine list simply features selections from “waste conscious wineries” and not bottles that would have otherwise been thrown out.
Now, if only I could convince Barber to come over to my apartment and work his magic on all the expired foods in my fridge?