Zero Waste Guide For Chefs

Do you know how much food waste you create every day? Probably not. But it’s much more than you think.

One of our favorite kitchen bookshelf staples: A thought-provoking bible “Surplus: The food waste guide for chefs”offers lots of ideas to change your mind-set in the kitchen. It includes words of motivation, ingredient directory and zero-waste tips on how to use every part of an ingredient along with the plant-based recipes for some inspiration.

We’d recommend to anyone looking for ways to reduce and manage their food waste. Actually it is responsibility of all human beings for the future of planet.

Author Vojtech Vegh is a zero-waste and plant-based chef with over a decade of working experience in restaurants around the world. He has opened the world’s first zero-waste and vegan restaurant in Cambodia and now he continues to work as a food waste consultant and zero-waste chef. Vojtech is focused on food waste prevention in professional kitchens and he believes that reducing the food waste is an urgent issue.
Surplus: The food waste guide for chefs is his first book and it is written for all open-minded chefs interested in actively reducing the food waste.

Tips from the “Surplus”

Some helpful kitchen techniques to reduce the food waste listed and detailed explained in the book. Some of them are curing and brining, dehydrating, fermenting, freezing, pureeing, quick pickling and making vegetable stock.

Book also explains how to use every part of vegetables. For example, a tip on how to use kale is given below.

“Almost every type of kale has a thick stem that is usually discarded, especially Cavolo Nero and curly kale.

Use: If you are using kale raw, make sure you massage the leaves, as it makes the all difference. Sprinkle the kale leaves with salt and add a few drop of olive oil, massage well and let it rest for 10 minutes.

Try to cut the steam out without any leafy part on it. The steam is fibrous, so it needs to be chopped up into smaller pieces. Salt always helps to tenderize the steam, but you can also saute them as you would o with the broccoli core, for example.

Kale steams make great pickles, ferments or addition to salads. If you have any leftover kale leaves, use them in pesto or throw them into a salad.

Storage: Kale must be stored in the fridge at all times and should be stored in a container, wrapped in a damp cloth or standing up in a container filled with water. ” –This is an excerpt from the Surplus: The food waste guide for chefs

We truly agree that saying of Vojtech:

“You are subconsciously mimicking anything than is happening around you.” – Vojtech Vegh

But luckily you can change this once you have noticed mirroring behaviour. We recommend to start by questioning those around you and your preferences. Start training your mindset to get out of automatic mode (acquired habits in time) and make your choices consciously. Then you will truly notice that you’re evolving and you are able to savor every single moment in a whole new way with this new mindset.

After reading Vojtech’s Surplus, we’ve put it into practice and realized that there is no damage in eating many vegetables with their skins and actually beneficial vitamins are found in the skins.
Recently, after roasting the whole celeriac, we’ve cut it into slices and served on top of the toast and everyone enjoyed.

Order Surplus book
Follow Vojtech’s instagram for some inspiration and zero-waste tips
Surplus Food Studio