Chef Dan Barber and his team are currently using his NYC restaurant Blue Hill to create a pop-up called wastED, devoted to the theme of food waste and re-use. The idea was to create a menu around the waste that accumulates everyday in home and restaurant kitchens (vegetable and fruit peels/pulp, secondary meat and fish cuts, spent coffee grounds etc). The wastED menu consists of casual small plates, with one daily “special” curated by that day’s guest chef (they have had quite a lineup of talented folks so far). They are accepting walk ins for anyone interested but I think most of the nights the reservations are already booked.
I was invited to photograph a few images on a recent evening when former White House pastry chef Bill Yosses worked with the team to create a meal.
This is wastED’s interpretation a burger, made from the pulp from a cold pressed juice operation Liquiteria in NYC. The bun is a collaboration with Balthazar Bakery who made a special “wastED” bun that incorporates a mash from stale rye bread and a “Tiger” or "Dutch" topping made with rye bread crumbs. The burger is topped with ReConsider cheese, a rogue cheese from Consider Bardwell Farm, created (unintentionally) when wild propionic bacteria—the same kind that give Swiss cheese its holes—get a little more active than planned. The resulting cheese was milder and sweeter than the Pawlet they were aiming for, but it was still delicious. It was a serious veggie burger, maybe the best I've had. They served the burger with pickled cucumber butts— the ends and offcuts discarded by the processor to allow for uniform pickle slices, and ketchup made from reject beets that would otherwise be composted.