Reducing Food Waste One Canape at a Time

Where some people see cauliflower leaves and cod’s cheek as waste, our executive chefs Scott and Chris saw ingredients to create delicious canapes. Inspired by the new V&A exhibition FOOD: Bigger than the Plate, they created an array of unique canapes turning produce often thrown away into valuable ingredients.

Scott created an ugly tomato consommé, served with Thames smoked eel croquette and Yorkshire rhubarb. He said: “We have a responsibility as chefs to make food that people want to eat, but that’s also sustainable more now than ever. Cooking this way has opened my mind up creatively and has made me look at wasted food in a different way”.

Often discarded Duxford egg shells were filled with bomber cheese custard, warm espuma fondue and firecracker jam, with crispy asparagus spear soldiers to dip.

There are many underutilised cuts of meat which can play a big part in reducing food waste. Such as finger-licking sticky pulled pigs head served with burnt fallen apple puree and crispy apple skin.

Tongue ‘n’ Cheek used confit cod cheek, cauliflower leaf kimchi puree, curried cauliflower cream and cod skin tuille. Chris commented: “It was exciting to create a menu using seasonal and local ingredients with food waste taking centre stage. Using food waste is good kitchen practice; vegetable trimmings make fantastic garnishes and fried fish skins give great taste and texture”.

Inspired by project ‘Banana Story’ at the exhibition, ‘Don’t lose it, reuse it’, was a delicious combination of overripe banana sponge cake, banana mousse and chocolate truffle shell, served in banana skins.

The UK wastes the edible part of 120 million chickens per year. Turning this on its head, Chris marinated crispy chicken feet in Bloody Marie spice rub dressed in XO bloody Marie sauce.

Scott commented: “We as chefs are all aware of the potential waste that may end up in our bins but it is having the knowledge, know how and using a little creativity that will allow us to create delicious dishes. Whether you’re in a professional kitchen or at home, we all have an obligation to drum down what we waste”.

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