How to be more sustainable in the kitchen
Finalists for the S.Pellegrino Award for Social Responsibility share their top tips.
At the S.Pellegrino Young Chef Academy Grand Finale (29-30 October in Milan), a number of additional awards will be given out alongside the main prize.
Voted for by Food Made Good, an organisation dedicated to sustainability in food, the S.Pellegrino Award for Social Responsibility will highlight those regional chef finalists whose dish makes the best use of sustainable practices.
Below, the 12 finalists competing for the award have shared tips on being more sustainable in the kitchen.
Don’t forget to check out the S.Pellegrino Young Chef Academy Cookbook too, featuring recipes from every chef competing at the Grand Finale, including for the Acqua Panna Award for Connection in Gastronomy and the Fine Dining Lovers Food for Thought Award.
S.Pellegrino Award for Social Responsibility Finalists
Ivan Kamenev from Richter in Moscow, Russia was the winner of the S.Pellegrino Award for Social Responsibility for the Euro Asia region.
“Respect what we can receive from nature, then we can learn new, smart ways of working. And that's good if we are curious and open to new ideas – go to the market, farms, fields or forests and search for something new.
“It’s important to realise that before a product gets to our kitchen it has to take a long journey and a lot of human and natural effort is applied, so we should be grateful for that every time.”
Jana Stöger from PIER 51 Restaurant & Bar in Stuttgart, Germany was the winner of the S.Pellegrino Award for Social Responsibility for the Central Europe region.
“Explore the region where you live with open eyes and ears. Which products are native? What does the current season offer? And what can I possibly get from the farmer next door? You do not always have to use the most exotic fruit and the most complicated method to create an exciting dish.”
Pin Jui Su from The Moment in Taipei, Taiwan was the winner of the S.Pellegrino Award for Social Responsibility for the Greater China region.
"I hope to let guests appreciate Taiwanese cuisine from a different angle, focusing more on ingredients themselves, rather than scent, and enjoying the delicateness of the cuisine with the presentation of nature, providing a true 'in the ground' but subversive dining experience."
Pippa Lovell, from Versa on the Isle of Man, United Kingdom was the winner of the S.Pellegrino Award for Social Responsibility for the UK & North Europe region.
“Making sure you have joy in your day to day is vital for sustainability. If you love what you are doing you will want to preserve it and you will begin to ask the question: "how is this possible?" From then... you will develop a way as an individual to play your part in helping to save the planet.
“For me, the best way is to only use ingredients I can find within walking distance of my restaurant because only then am I truly respecting the seasons again.”
Callan Austin from Le coin Français in Cape Town, South Africa was the winner of the S.Pellegrino Award for Social Responsibility for the Africa & Middle East region.
“To be completely sustainable is extremely hard, especially in a commercial kitchen. You need to be clever in how you go about operating your kitchen. Find intuitive ways to reduce plastic waste and excessive water use.
“Collaborate with local suppliers to source sustainable and ethical produce, and find ways to utilise your food waste in fertilisers to give back to your suppliers. The goal is to create a successful cycle through mindfulness in the workplace.”
Kathryn Ferries from Stofa Restaurant in Ottowa, Canada was the winner of the S.Pellegrino Award for Social Responsibility for the North America region.
“Be aware of the many opportunities there are in this industry to choose the products with the best impact on our food system. From ethically farmed, to Fairtrade, to organic, there is a multitude of options available that all have a positive impact. Small, everyday changes can lead to large-scale improvements.
“Being aware of your waste, and actively finding solutions to it, is an important step to creating a balanced food system worldwide. I could talk for hours about solutions needed for our plastic waste, like saran wrap and sous vide bags, or our recycling and compost options, or our need to change the mindset around food waste.
“The most important step is recognising what you can accomplish immediately and then work towards the bigger picture, and the long-term goals of seeing a balanced, sustainable food system for this generation and the next.”
Sebastián Pinzón Giraldo from Celele Restaurante by Proyecto Cribe Lab in Cartagena, Colombia was the winner of the S.Pellegrino Award for Social Responsibility for the Latin America region.
“Create a real ambient awareness and understand all the environmental problems humans generate on earth. [We must] realise that the most important thing is to start to be coherent from home, through our restaurants, kitchens and staff.”
Davide Marzullo from The Market Place in Como, Italy was the winner of the S.Pellegrino Award for Social Responsibility for the Italy and South East Europe region.
“Use [less expensive] ingredients: not too many "frills" are needed to be a great chef. We must be more and more open-minded, to the point of being able to use [expensive] ingredients and profit from them as much as using a rich ingredient.”
Mengxin Zhou from Somiatruites in Igualada, Spain was the winner of the S.Pellegrino Award for Social Responsibility for the Iberian & Mediterranean region.
“Cherishing food and cutting food waste is something we can implement at any time, anywhere.
“In my dish, I respect the ingredients. We make full use of fish, its dried meat as salt, we cook all of its parts including the head, which we pressure cook to achieve different textures.”
Muhammad Afif Adnanta Nasution from Teatro Gastroteque in Bali, Indonesia was winner of the S.Pellegrino Award for Social Responsibility for the Asia region.
“A chef should understand the character of his or her own nature and try to discover and gather resources from it, such as herbs, spices, vegetables and animals and also know the cycle of life in the environment.
“Through this process, chefs may learn how to effectively cultivate the land while efficiently processing it in the kitchen, by knowing how a plant develops and an animal grows, chefs can determine how to plan a sustainable practice.”
Kezia Kristel from Icebergs Dining Room and Bar in Sydney, Australia was the winner of the S.Pellegrino Award for Social Responsibility for the Pacific region.
“Separate your bins into food waste and mixed waste. Try to minimise food wastage by saving parts of food that are edible for replacement of a component/special dish and for staff.
“Cooking is not only about following the rules, but being creative and open towards positive change. This practice is not as easy as it sounds, especially on the busy, big cover weekend, but it can help to create habit and awareness within the back of house team.”
Kitano Yurika from Margo in Paris, France was the winner of the S.Pellegrino Award for Social Responsibility for the North West Europe region.
“We must impose geographical restrictions and not waste any products to develop creativity.”