Food waste isn’t just a social/environmental woe, solving it can be fun! FYI has partnered with Sur la Table to create SCRAPS, a new TV show that showcases the infinite flavor and possibility of ingredients that would otherwise go to waste.
SCRAPS follows Chef Joel Gamoran as he traverses the U.S. in search of new, creative uses for food “waste” in partnership with other brilliant chefs.
There’s even an episode that features upcycled brewer’s malt (our supergrain ingredient previously known as “spent” grain)… Watch it here.
Of course at ReGrained we have an insatiable appetite for food waste stories, so we interviewed Chef Joel to hear about his experience with SCRAPS and the food waste movement as a whole. See what he had to say...
Chef Joel, what sparked your interest in cooking with food scraps? Have you always been focused on reducing waste in the kitchen, or is this a more recent passion?
“This is a more recent passion. I was teaching home cooks how to cook at Sur La Table and noticed their trash bowls were overflowing. It sparked the idea around the show and making food waste more accessible to the everyday home cook.”
How fun has it been to feature chefs on Scraps who share your enthusiasm for cooking with food scraps?
“Too fun! Our poor showrunner Tim Whitney had to keep reigning us in. Everyone we had as a guest is a food waste champion and someone I genuinely love hanging out with!”
How have you seen food culture evolve in response to the spiked awareness of food waste in recent years? How do you think the culture will continue to evolve in the long-term?
“People are taking to the food waste movement because of how creative you can get with it. Sometimes the waste, such as spent grain, opens up whole new possibilities in the kitchen! The future is very bright–people are getting it. The question is: Can we keep this from being a trend and, rather, something that is just part of our culture? I think so!”
In traditional restaurant kitchens, food scraps would be thrown into a stock pot. How are chefs today upcycling food scraps into something innovative and delicious?
“You get brownie points in the chef world for making something fantastic out of what was thought of as nothing. It speaks to your talent and ability to create. Desserts with ugly fruit, burgers with meat trim...You will start seeing this a lot more in your local restaurants. It’s similar to how farms started to get mentions on menus, now its food waste!”
What basic tips do you recommend to the home cook who wants to reduce their food waste?
“Make a recipe you love and are comfortable with, and keep all your food scraps. Take a step back and ask yourself: Instead of going to the grocery store, how can I use this to make another meal? Research, get inspire and take a risk. You will surprise yourself.”
As a chef, what would be the first thing you’d want to make with ReGrained Beer Flour?
“Beer Flour Waffles!”
We’re thrilled to have an ally like Chef Joel in the food waste movement. His optimism is an incredible reminder of the delicious potential of food scraps.
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If we are going to solve the packaging problem, we need to do it together. The time has come for less talk and more action.
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