Originally published on Broadsheet Melbourne (March 3 2016)
St Crispin, Grossi Florentino, Pastuso and more are on board.
You might not have imagined ordering your gelato with leftover orange peel or tucking into sheperd’s pie made from alpaca heart but for one hour this Saturday some of Melbourne’s best chefs are serving up an exclusive selection of meals for just $1 each – all made from food that would otherwise have been tossed straight in the bin.
The event is being run through the app, Yume, which allows restaurants to sell or donate their surplus food direct to the public. All money raised during Yume Hour will go back into Melbourne’s four main food rescue charities: OzHarvest, FareShare, Foodbank and SecondBite.
Creator and food waste warrior Katy Barfield says the Yume app is a new, efficient way to plug “leaks” in a national food system that throws away $8 billion in product annually. Just on its own, the food industry discards 1.4 million tonnes of that surplus each year.
“We’re all obsessed with food, Melbourne particularly,” Barfield says. “But if every restaurant and every café in Australia put 1 kg of food on the app for sale, we could prevent 40 tonnes a day going to landfills.”
According to Pastuso chef Alejandro Saravia, food offcuts are far from “garbage”.
“All this can be reused safely and in really creative, clever ways,” Saravia says. “People are now starting to think more about sustainability and taking care of our natural resources and that means changes in the way restaurants and farmers operate. It’s a big eye opener for chefs.”
For Yume Hour, Pastuso will be offering up a South American sheperd’s pie, made from slow-cooked meat offcuts, corn and potato puree – and alpaca heart.
“Here most offal goes to waste, but in my country, Peru, we use it a lot and really appreciate the heart for its high nutrition,” Saravia says. “We have a pretty good life in Australia, but in countries like Peru there’s all sorts of poverty and people don’t waste as much.”
Also serving up an exclusive Yume dish is Pope Joan’s chef Matt Wilkinson – this time smoked yoghurt ice-cream, once leftover from an old order and now topped with freeze-dried raspberries. Wilkinson will also be offering the dessert to people who haven’t downloaded the app – for a $2 price hike.
“I’m not going anywhere until all that ice-cream is served,” he says.
For Wilkinson, embracing the Yume app is as much about good business sense as a social conscience. “I use it to save money,” he says. “And really all of us, whether we’re chefs or food writers, are to blame for the habits of the consumer. If we gave time to different meat cuts apart from the usual primals, less would be stockpiled or discarded.”
Still, as Wilkinson readily admits: “We’ll probably always waste carrot tops.”
Five more of our picks from the Yume Hour menu:
Sage and beef meatballs with tomato sugo and polenta pecorino fries
Cassata Gelato made with surplus candied orange peel
Salad with beetroot tops and bottoms, shaved carrot ends, roasted walnuts and celery juice
Jamon croquetas made from pork offcuts
Chick pea and spiced potato fritter with coriander yoghurt
Yume Hour will run on Saturday March 5 between 3 – 4 pm as part of the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival. To access the deal, download the YUME app on the Apple or Google Play app stores, order your food and collect it from a participating restaurant within the hour. All funds raised during Yume Hour will be donated to Melbourne’s four main food rescue initiatives: OzHarvest, FareShare, Foodbank and SecondBite.
A free “Wasting Away” panel will follow at 4 pm at CAPI in South Melbourne featuring, among others, Katy Barfield, MP Adam Bandt, chef Guy Grossi and CEO of Melbourne’s Food and Wine Festival Natalie O’Brien.
By Sherryn Groch