Beef Fat Candles, Coffee-Grounds Pest Repellent and Homemade Cat Food!
The hospitality industry has been making strides in becoming more Earth friendly; however, one hotel and restaurant in Orlando has taken the goal of reducing its carbon footprint through recycling and reuse to an entirely new level.
According to Tony Hull, Director of Restaurant Operations at Orlando Airport Marriott Lakeside and its Crimson Tavern Restaurant, From June through December of 2015, we composted 33 tons of food scraps, and in January of this year, we sent 7 tons of food scraps to compost, notes Chef Hull. We still have our food waste picked up and composted, but I want to decrease this amount so we can reduce our carbon footprint. As a result, the property has just started composting on site.
Chef Hull and his team looked closely at ways in which they could not just recycle, but reuse food scraps from the kitchen and came up with the following efforts, which are now in place:
● Coffee grounds are recycled and used as a natural pest deterrent in the Chefs Garden.
● Scraps from the roasted beets are used to make the beet-cured salmon appetizer.
● The gardener in the restaurant's own Chef's Garden (which was formerly a volleyball court) created a large industrial mortar and pestle from a recycled car cylinder and axle to crush the bones that were cooked to make chicken and beef stock and further re-use them to create homemade bone meal to enrich the garden soil.
● When fish are cleaned in the restaurant, the skins are boiled and pureed into cat food for the two rescue cats that live in the garden and keep the squirrels and snakes away.
● Biodegradable garbage-can liners are used because they will break down in the landfill.
● The kitchen dehydrates onion peelings to make onion powder, and mushroom stems for powder to add to the house-made steak seasoning for additional umami flavor.
● When there is an abundance of fresh herbs from the Chefs Garden, they are dried to use at a later date.
● If there is an excess of any items harvested that cannot be used fresh, they are pickled and preserved.
● Beef fat is rendered and put into the Béarnaise sauce. The hotel is also experimenting with making beef fat candles, which can be served to guests who can dip bread in the fat as it melts.
● All bacon fat from breakfast is saved and used for braising greens, re-fried beans and enriching the house-made barbecue sauces.
● The restaurant has a completely enclosed oil system for its deep-fat fryers. It is filtered every day to increase usage and pumped into a storage tank that is collected and recycled. This also eliminates the plastic jugs that would go to the landfill.
● The restaurant menus are printed on 100% recycled paper, and when damaged or reprinted, old menus are cut up and used as underliners in the restaurant.
● Approximately 6 tons of cardboard, glass, cans and plastic are recycled every month.
● The hotel recycles light bulbs, newspapers and batteries.
● Used soap from guest rooms is given to CleanTheWorld.org which purifies it and reforms it into bars which are then sent to Third World countries.
Its important for us in the culinary world not to just use responsibly-sourced ingredients and present them in the freshest manner possible, concludes Chef Hull, but to also realize we have an impact on the environment with the waste from our culinary efforts.
Jane Coloccia, Jane@JCCommunicationsllc.com, Beef Fat Candles, Coffee Grind Pest Repellent, and Homemade Cat Food, Are Just Some Orlando Airport Marriott Lakeside Implements Reuse and Recycling Program, April 18, 2016
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When fish are cleaned in the kitchen, the skins are boiled and pureed into cat food for the two rescue cats that live in the garden and keep the squirrels and snakes away.