A display of fruits and vegetables on a table

Huntington Hospitality Inspires Guests to Curb Food Waste with Chef Event

Partnering with Chefs Collaborative and 12 local chefs, the Bon Appétit Huntington Hospitality team put on an informative event at The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens in San Marino, CA, that was equal parts movie screening, discussion panel, and sustainability soirée.

Executive Sous Chef James Ausem with Tea Room Hostess Trisha Idzior

Imperfect Produce, a direct-to-consumer weekly produce delivery service, and L.A. Kitchen, which reclaims healthy local food to nourish underserved groups in the community, were also part of the event. Activities kicked off with a screening of the documentary Wasted!, which highlights the realities of everyday food waste and the people who fight hard to prevent it. Guests were then invited to a lively panel discussion with well-known local chefs Nyesha Arrington of Native, Michael Cimarusti of Providence, Neal Fraser of Redbird, and Minh Phan of Porridge + Puffs. The panelists spoke candidly about how culture and our relationship with food affect waste, their ongoing initiatives to combat food waste, and how restaurateurs and consumers alike can help make positive change on a global scale.

Creamy polenta with truffle, mushrooms, and garden-grown chard

At the reception, Imperfectly Delicious Produce from Bon Appétit’s food-waste-fighting program joined flowering spring onions and live celery plants from The Huntington’s gardens to adorn tasting stations. The colorful menu showcased creative dishes made specifically with the goal of reducing waste, featuring pork from heritage hogs fed with food scraps; banana-peel chutney; beet-top dressing; whey cornbread; and more. Guests sipped on spicy stem-to- root beet cocktails, munched on chicken tacos smoked by solar power, and returned for second and third helpings of dirty rice with sustainable seafood.

“The event was an eye-opener that has motivated us to take small steps,” wrote Huntington members Robert and Susan Kwong. “We will be purchasing a home composter and signed up to volunteer at L.A. Kitchen, and are excited about both.”

The team was proud of the feedback they received, and they are fired up to continue planning and hosting educational and impactful culinary programming at The Huntington.

Submitted by Hannah Katalbas, Director of Marketing and Social Media