Once upon a time, say in 1997, potato peels were garbage. Then, we all got a little more enlightened and they became compost. Now, if you throw those peels into the green bin, your friends (and chefs like Blue Hill’s Dan Barber and Dirt Candy’s Amanda Cohen) will stand aghast. Because…from peels we can make chips! We can make stock! We can mix them with hard cheese and use them as a filling for ravioli like chef Paul Reilly of Denver’s Beast + Bottle does!
Recovered food and upcycled food scraps have been the stars of sold-out dinners like WastED and Salvage Supperclub across the nation in the past few years. This rising trend isn’t just about being frugal (though that’s a part of it), it’s also about being crafty. Upcycling, or using materials that might otherwise be discarded to create something of higher value than the original product, has been happening in the fashion industry for a long time. Now, food is getting its turn.
From burgers made with beet pulp to dumplings made with food scraps, top chefs from across the country are turning the idea of what’s food and what’s waste on its head. And you can get into the game at home, too.
Check out these trashy tips from Bon Appétit chefs on how to salvage citrus peels, make ugly produce the star of your plate, and more. (Plus recipes you can use at home, like chilled broccoli salad!)