When the food waste conversation comes up, some of the most creative solutions to this increasingly troublesome problem come from the culinary perspective. Dan Barber and Ayesha Curry both have their own solid takes on food waste, as does Providence, a Michelin-star restaurant located in Los Angeles. Their bar program features a “zero waste bar” that takes scraps from the kitchen and utilizes them to take their drinks to the next level.
At Providence, bar manager Kim Stodel aims to be a part of the sustainable Providence ecosystem through his innovative usage of upcycled ingredients. While not trained in culinary arts himself, Stodel told UPROXX that he learned from the chefs to make the zero waste bar concept flourish. Considering that the talent at Providence includes the highly acclaimed Michael Cimarusti, Stodel had some incredible assistance that elevated the drinks to a whole new level.
Their Muay Thai, for example, contains a rum infused with leftover ginger, lemongrass, and kaffir lime leaf that provides a knockout aromatic punch. Stodel also creates syrups, oils, and garnishes from other kitchen scraps like lemon peels that add new dimensions and layers to each cocktail on his menu.
By reutilizing these ingredients, Providence and Kim Stodel are transforming what it really means to be a “zero waste” restaurant concept. Hopefully, their model is one that many other restaurants will convert to in the future to help reduce our food waste footprint even further.