Saturday, June 8, 2013

Don't cry in the future

Besides serving authentic food and serving with the true Goan hospitality what else do the members have to do? Give back to society as we live in a society. So besides helping the local farmer achieve his goals there is one more ‘focus’ that we need to work on…  We learned that on the 5th June – World Environment Day.

Think…Eat…Save, the motto for this year made us sit down to ‘think-strategize’ how committed we are to the earth’s dilemma. ‘Think’ when facts are given to us that on a specific day 8-10 tons of  food waste is collected from the CCP from hotels and restaurants alone in Panjim. A day! Can you imagine what happens in a week? What about in a month? Astronomical figures…Think!

Of course we have to eat and feed our guests, but can be educate our staff to understand that even 10% of saving from all the eateries in Panjim would ensures 1 ton less waste per day and 30 tons less per month. Yes we are aware that many hotels do practice this as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives by giving food to the charitable institutions, hotels do believe that they cannot control the waste generated by guests who leave food behind in their plates, hotels have no control over peels of vegetables and fruits which are used on a day to day need. So what do we need to do?

We are happy to say that two of our Goan Culinary Club members won the ‘Plaque of Excellence’ for Best Environmental Practices for their initiative in minimizing food wastage… namely the Royal Orchid Beach Resort and Spa and the Hotel Fidalgo. We at the Goan Culinary Club aim to share a few best practices in this month hoping that other members (and non members) can initiate some of these practices and help us respect and sustain our beautiful planet.
We will take just two aspects in this article namely Procurement of perishables and unavoidable food wastage that help these Hotels achieve results.

Hotel Fidalgo – Procurement of perishables. It is right in the heart of the city, at a busy interaction where the number of restaurants ‘buzz’ till after midnight. How does Executive Chef Abhishek manage his procurement and not waste material? They have developed an inbuilt relationship which is been maintained with their vendors for fresh ingredients and utilize best practices to minimize wastage leading to optimum utilization:                                                                                                                                                      1. Milk – Milk supply with Roopa cycle just a lane away. Mr. Gafur the vendor who supplies Goa Dairy milk does a four time delivery in a day. He personally observes the consumption on day to day basis. In addition they maintain a daily dairy consumption report where milk consumption is recorded on daily basis and is then compared to the sales. These practices help them maintain zero wastage target of milk waste.                                                                                                                                                          2. Vegetable – As Goa does not produce all vegetables they have a tie up with a vegetable vendor agent in Belgaum who works on commission basis and he is responsible for procuring best vegetable produce for them which is then supplied three days a week as per their consumption demand.                                                                                                                                                     3. Fruits – Fruits from Mapusa on daily basis to avoid any wastage.                                                                     4. Seafood – Procured from local vendors on daily basis, the seafood consumption is recorded on daily basis. Their target is to maintain zero wastage in fresh seafood buying cycle. In order to reduce wastage they promote seafood in all outlet with new concept like “1-on-1 Seafood festival”.

Royal Orchid Beach Resort and Spa – Unavoidable Food wastage – set apart from the busy city, Chef Naveen has worked on the aspects of ‘unavoidable food wastage’ Here are some of the hotels initiatives.                            1. Fruit Basket: Being a starred hotel the rooms need to have a complimentary fruit basket which at times are not utilized by the guest and cannot be used on the buffets. Leftover fruits from the fruit basket are used to make jams/preserves.                                                                                                                                             2. Vegetable Stock: Many preparations require the ‘flavored’ stock to be used for continental dishes. The vegetable trimmings are used to prepare the vegetable stock.                                                                                          3. Turned Potatoes: Yes preparations do compel the chef to ‘shape’ and ‘turn’ potatoes that lead to wastage. The kitchen boils the potatoes and peels them before turning so that those extras can be used for potato hash.                                                                                                                                                          4. Lemon peels:  After squeezing off the juice for cooking purposes the lemon skins are re used to make pickles and for other cooking purposes based on the recipe where the rind is needed.
Kudos to our Goan Culinary Club members, yes the Club will take this project seriously and give back to our mother Earth what she richly deserves.

And if you think we are the ‘smarter’ generation let me give you a recipe of success so commonly used by our forefathers. Remember the rhyme…this little pig went to market, this little pig stayed at home, this little pig cried wee wee wee all the way home. Let us not cry in the future…..

Recipe for success –Chef Peter Fernandes of O Coqueiro shares this little bit of the past with us.

It was said that the local Goans in the past never wasted anything. Take the fact when a pig was slaughtered. Every part was consumed but many of these preparations perhaps are not even heard of today.  

-      -  The trotters were prepared in a paya styled preparation.
-      -  The intestines and stomach mixed with a little Raechad masala and made into a preparation called buch.
-     -   The present recipe of liver, fat and boneless meat to make sorpotel-but in the past they would also use the ears, heart.
-     -   Pork with bones was made into a preparation called Aardmas.
-     -    The lard was used in cooking beef or chicken and also in sausages.
-     -   While the fried skin of the pork was also sold with the sausages

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