Stepping Lightly: How Restaurants Can Reduce Their Carbon Footprint

Five ways restaurant operators are working to save the planet

If there is anyone who should care about climate change, it should be those in the restaurant industry.

On a fundamental level, the changing weather patterns on this warming earth that have resulted in part from human activity pose a threat to every ingredient on the plate.

Drought. Hurricanes. Blizzards. Floods. Rising sea levels. Wildfires. These events are all part of what many say is a new normal.

What can the restaurant industry do about it?

For years, restaurateurs have been building more sustainable practices into their operations.

They have been investing in LEED-certified buildings and energy-saving equipment and lighting. They have been recycling used oil for biofuel; shifting to compostable and biodegradable packaging; and avoiding the use of polystyrene, plastic straws and plastic bags.

They have been buying local and organic produce; using eco-friendly cleaning products; and creating paperless office systems.

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Instagram or it Didn’t Happen? L.A. Restaurants Show How the App Has Changed Their Industry

Acai Bowl at AmazebowlsFor Helene Henderson, Instagram has become synonymous with the dining experience at Malibu Farm. Henderson owns the farm-to-table restaurant on Malibu’s pier and credits Instagram with transforming the once quiet, seaside shack — which opened in 2014 — into a busy destination.

“A meal that is not photographed probably did not happen,” Henderson said. “Instagrammers can be a boost for restaurant check averages when more dishes are ordered than necessary, just for the perfect photo op.”

The Mason jars featuring the Malibu Farm logo are frequently shared on Instagram. The colorful jars, in conjunction with the restaurant’s scenic backdrop, make the ideal combination for photographers. Though the jars were originally designed for a more practical purpose, Henderson sees their popularity on Instagram as a business-boosting strategy. The restaurant’s account, @malibufarm, has more than 21,000 followers.

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Brownsville Restaurant and Culinary Project Aims to Transform Lives


They were kneading dough and mostly silent as they focused on their work. The teacher darted in and out of the well-equipped back room. Out front, another group took orders and prepared meals in the open kitchen.

The nonprofit training center, eatery and bakery, which recently opened in a double-wide storefront space at 69 Belmont Avenue, offers job training to Brownsville residents, fresh food at reasonable prices, and community space for local nonprofits. (The training program debuted in June, followed by the eatery in August.)

The menu seems fairly simple — items include a carrot and peanut salad, Caribbean fish soup, ribs, and Bville Cheesesteak — but the food is extra delicious; clearly there is more at work here than meets the eye.

Everything is made from scratch, including biscuits and dense loaves of Danish rye bread. The kale in the kale biscuit comes from five nearby gardens and farms run by the Isabahlia Ladies of Elegance Foundation, whose founder is on BCCC’s advisory board. The flour is milled on the premises.

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BCA Global and Blacks in Government (BIG) Create Health and Food Justice Conference

Mindful Eating for the Beloved Community – January 15th 2018 (MLK Day) in Atlanta, GA

The one-day on MLK Day event includes workshops on mindfulness and food justice, an interactive Mindful Meal prepared by BCA Chef Professionals, social justice leaders working in health equity, and the official launch of the Mindful Eating for The Beloved Community book.

Supported and sponsored by Aetna, Marriott, I-Lead and Hobart/ITW the Mindful Eating for the Beloved Community (MEBC) conference to be held at the Marriott Marquis in Atlanta, GA marks the launch of a nationwide initiative to provide diverse communities with a thoughtful and engaged way to understand nutrition and the external influences that impact how and what we eat. The one-day event includes workshops on mindfulness and food justice, an interactive Mindful Meal prepared by BCA Chef Professionals, presentations from social justice leaders working in health equity, and the official launch of the Mindful Eating for The Beloved Community book, a collection of essays and powerful stories by chefs, nutritionists, and food activists offering strategies to rebuild the connections between diet, culture, faith, the environment, and community. Organized by Chef Alex Askew and published by Arch Street Press, Mindful Eating for the Beloved Community explores the intersection between food and social justice as well as the need to address the patterns of eating that leave us undernourished—physically and spiritually.

“Food Equity is tied into all things economic—community, productivity and profitability—it makes sense to move this forward nationally,” comments Alex Askew, President of BCA Global.

In today’s changing and challenging environment, health equity in the community remains an unaddressed crisis with fewer resources and tools to empower communities. Supporting the MEBC initiative not only increases understanding of the health disparities that exist, but also provides the action plan for families to improve their health and create sustainable results.

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Want to run a restaurant? Cleveland Chefs Sought for New Ohio City Food Hall

Deadline to apply is February 1.

Ohio Food HallThe Galley Group, founded in Pittsburgh two years ago, is bringing its restaurant-incubator concept to Cleveland next year, with space for four aspiring chef-owners. The eatery – it doesn’t have a name yet – will be part of the Quarter development, under construction at the corner of Detroit Avenue and W. 25th Street in Ohio City.

It will occupy the first floor of the historic Forest City Savings and Trust Building, built in 1890s and currently occupied by Massimo da Milano, which will close later this month.

The building is being reconfigured with four small kitchens and communal seating space for about 250. The four-in-one food hall is expected to open in late summer.

The concept works like this:

  • Chefs are given their own small kitchens, rent free, for one year. They create their own menu, hire their own staff, and supply small equipment.
  • There’s a bar and communal dining area for all four mini-restaurants. Visitors order at the counter and their food is brought to them.
  • Chefs share 30 percent of their revenue with the Galley Group, which manages and markets the complex.

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Editors Say Bespoke Butchers, Natural Wine and Self-Pay Will Be Popular Next Year


2017 has been a challenging year, with hurricanes, floods and fires; the uncertainties of Washington politics; and the Amazon-ization of food.

For restaurants, it was a year of grappling with rising labor costs, adjusting to diners who prefer to eat restaurant meals at home, and vegetables — lots of vegetables.

Now it’s time to look forward to what’s ahead.

Here are RH editors’ predictions for trends that will shape the restaurant industry in 2018.

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3 Ethnic Cuisines Perfect for the Snacking Craze

How these popular ethnic cuisines could open the door to a wealth of snack options.

Three years ago in this very space, when we last discussed snacking, I talked about the “globalization” of snacks—the increasing tendency of consumer packaged goods (cpg) companies, in particular, to appropriate and redeploy different ethnic flavor profiles in their snack foods.

Three years is practically a lifetime in the snacking world, where consumer behaviors and preferences are in a constant flux. And yet, based on all available evidence, the global-snacking trend continues to gather steam. Credit goes to those ever-adventurous millennials and their younger Gen-Z counterparts, whose restless palates are constantly yearning for new, different, and memorable flavors.

Three cuisines in particular—Moroccan, Ethiopian, and South American (not actually one cuisine, but many)—appear to be ripe for discovery and reinvention. I’ll take each in turn.

Moroccan • Can you imagine pulling up to your preferred fast-food drive-thru window and ordering food in which the flavor profile skews North African? Perhaps not today, but based on the buzz surrounding Moroccan cuisine these days, the prospect doesn’t seem that outlandish or far-fetched. Indeed, at this past summer’s Fancy Food Show, Moroccan food was billed as one of the top 10 food trends.

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Source: QSR

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Nominations for 2018 Seafood Champion Awards Open

SeaWeb today announced the opening of nominations for the 2018 Seafood Champion Awards.

First presented in 2006, the Seafood Champion Awards annually recognize leadership in promoting environmentally responsible seafood. Nominations are encouraged on behalf of individuals or organizations whose accomplishments demonstrate outstanding commitment to advancing seafood sustainability in the fishing, aquaculture, supply chain, retail, and restaurant or foodservice sectors, as well as conservation, science, academia and the media. Nominations will close at 11:59 EST on January 9, 2018.

The 2018 nominations were opened by SeaWeb president Mark Spalding, who highlighted the value of the Seafood Champion Awards in his remarks: “The future of humankind is linked to the future of the ocean. The well-managed fisheries and farms we are building today will provide an enormous benefit in quality of life tomorrow. The Seafood Champion Awards celebrate the people and organizations who are working for that future. I urge everyone with a sustainability success story to submit a nomination.”

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