In The Press
Getting wasted can be a lot more virtuous than you think.
At L.A. fine-dining mainstay Providence, beverage director Kim Stodel has created a new zero-waste cocktail program that uses kitchen scraps for infusions and garnishes. It’s a fitting move for a sustainably-minded restaurant that focuses on responsibly sourced seafood.
Stodel’s Muay Thai cocktail (yes, it’s a riff on a Mai Tai) features lemongrass, kaffir-lime and ginger scraps. Another Stodel hit is the Peas and Thank You drink, a mezcal concoction that involves making a green oil out of pea-tendril scraps.
Zero-waste cocktails are trending in L.A. and beyond. Fords Gin has joined forces with London-based bartenders Iain Griffiths and Kelsey Ramage (formerly of Dandelyand and Mr. Lyan) on their Trash Tiki tour of the U.S., which concludes this Wednesday and Thursday at L.A.’s Honeycut bar after stops in New Orleans, Miami, New York, Toronto, Chicago, and Vancouver among other cities. Griffiths and Ramage’s tricks include using leftover citrus husks to make stock. Trash Tiki’s goal is to help bars and their customers understand how cocktail culture can become more environmentally friendly.
And while I ate all those great dishes, and the beer, wine and cocktails flowed freely, I felt better knowing that The Taste (which contributes money to the L.A. Regional Food Bank) had partnered with Midnight Mission to donate all excess food to those in need. That included food prepared by the restaurants as well as produce, canned goods and dry items.
Plus, there were compost bins all over the event because The Taste teamed up with Zero Waste Co. to make sure that discarded food and compostable plates, cups, bowls, napkins and paper towels would be re-used and become part of soil used to grow crops. The end is the beginning.