Easy Food

How to Cook With Food You’d Normally Throw Away

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If chef Dan Barber can serve an entire menu of “wasted” food, so can you.

Earlier this month, Dan Barber shut down his Manhattan restaurant, Blue Hill, and put a pop-up in its place. WastED, which runs through the end of the month, is an experiment in food salvation—the ingredients for each $15 dish are culled from the scraps that New York farmers, butchers, bakeries, and restaurants typically throw away.
“I can say to you, ‘we’re a wasteful society’ and give you all sorts of statistics,” Barber says. “But what do you do about it, really? It seems to me that restaurants can be places of education but also pleasure.”

Of course, a guy can eat a meal at WastED, but that question—”what do you do about it?”—still lingers. Barber’s hope is that diners will take what they see and incorporate a less wasteful approach to their daily cooking and eating habits. And while nobody—least of all Barber—expects regular folk to go home and fry some skate wing cartilage (pictured, left), there are some techniques WastED is employing that home cooks can easily replicate. I hopped on the phone with Barber to find out what those techniques are.


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