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The Future of Food


kali matson offers tips on how to prepare ‘reScued’ food dana williamson,

waste less solutions

Chefs turn “extras and uglies” into a delectable meal

diane sheyA,

Chefs only learn about available ingredients a few days before the event, making for an intriguing one-of-a-kind dinner

Co-Owner & Culinary Director at Salt Lake Culinary Education

What do gourmet butter, serrano peppers, tiny butternut squash, abundant herbs and spotted bananas all have in common? They were all diverted from a landfill and rescued by Utah nonprofit Waste Less Solutions. Even better, they became a multi-course, chef-prepared meal for 16 lucky attendees at the most recent Encore Dinner Series held at Salt Lake Institute of Culinary Education (SLICE). The Encore Dinner Series supports Waste Less Solutions’ overall mission of reducing food waste and feeding Utahns in need through their food diversion program that engages the community to help rescue edible food and get it to the food insecure in Utah. The dinner series pop up is a deliciously creative way that Waste Less Solutions’ founder and president Dana Williamson hopes to educate Utah consumers about rescued food. Rescued food, says Williamson, can come in several forms—from imperfect produce like the undersize zucchini squash donated by Muir Copper Canyon Farms to an extra turkey breast from The Blended Table catering company. By finding alternative consumers for products that would otherwise go to waste, Waste Less Solutions helps reduce food waste and, in turn, feeds Salt Lake County’s food insecure with donations from events, grocers and other food service industries. The organization also strives to teach Utah diners about how they themselves can reduce food waste by shopping smarter, freezing leftovers and composting. Through newsletters, cooking classes and the Encore Dinner Series, they’re invited into the kitchen to see how professional chefs turn a grocery list of “extras and uglies” into a delectable meal that everyone can feel good about. In the true spirit of the event, featured chefs only learn what ingredients they’ll have on hand a few days before the dinner when the rescued food has been brought in—adding intrigue to the one-ofa-kind dinners. It’s a “fun way to get people interested and to introduce them to the idea of food waste where they can see the food used firsthand,” Williamson says. Look for future dates of the dinner series at the website below. (By Heather L. King)

Diners learn how to reduce food waste by shopping smarter, freezing leftovers and composting PHOTOS BY JOHN TAYLOR

Devour Utah • april 2020 25