Food recovery and reducing waste is second nature for Chef Jehangir. As far as his process in the back-of-the-house goes, he relies on his beliefs and his perspective on life to do most of the heavy lifting.
Sustainability is evident in his Graffiti Earth kitchen in more ways than one; the menu is full of sustainable proteins and healthy grains, he uses vegetables that don’t require excessive amounts of water to maintain, such as mushrooms, and he inspires his staff to internalize the same values he lives by.
Chef Jehangir considers the entire lifecycle of a vegetable or protein. Ordering just the right amount rather than buying a whole fish is essential to using every ingredient and product that he orders through BlueCart. Not just that, but only ordering what is needed allows the fishmonger to make better use of those bones and scraps. His sustainability mantra is even well-known by his customers; a couple who had a large Thanksgiving gathering recently donated their three Turkey carcasses to Graffiti knowing it would be utilized well.
To lessen their food waste footprint, Jehangir and his staff keep track of food usage and utilize extras by making stock every day. This enables Graffiti’s menu to constantly evolve on a smaller scale to always put new spins on classic menu items. Graffiti’s customers appreciate the authentic and unique tapestry of flavors.
Using the BlueCart platform offers the advantage of receiving detailed food tracking metrics and measuring the yield in addition to comparing sales and understanding the relationship between the two. Chef Jehangir also shared his collaboration at UMass Amherst Dining Services about how he has brought his sustainability philosophy to the staff. One of his most valued routine practices is checking each station at the end of the shift. It’s basic, simple, and it’s crucial to minimizing food waste as proactively as he does. A few of his take-aways; utilizing the filling initially used for Bao Buns to make Dumplings for the next day or collecting the scraps from the Turkey carving station and making a slaw or salad.
He noted how this tends to set off a chain of events from changing food costs to how the cook thinks about all food scraps and the further process of utilizing other ingredients. In addition to reducing food waste, Chef Jehangir is also mindful of the entire cycle by lowering waste disposal fees since restaurants are charged by the pound. Money found and money made. It is a good thing.
To read more about Jehangir and his zero waste journey, visit Zero Waste Kitchen.
Chef Jehangir Mehta is a BlueCart user and advocate. For more information on being as efficient and sustainable as Jehangir, visit BlueCart.