OUR SUSTAINABILITY COMMITMENT
people | partnerships | planet
We partner closely with our suppliers to understand the availability and seasonality of foods. Our chefs make it a priority to always source locally and seasonally thereby supporting local farms and economies whenever possible and take great pride in creating seasonally appropriate dishes. When feasible, we happily partner with our clients to develop a plan that will best utilize products harvested from an existing campus garden and design menus, featured entrees, and salad bars accordingly.
Our culinary team embraces the opportunities in dining service around reducing food waste. Whether through cross utilization, the purchase of produce that is misshapen or slightly discolored, or root to stem cooking, we maintain a strong commitment to appropriating all foods in our kitchens. This helps to ensure that our stocks, infused waters, and sauces (among other items) are created from scratch and inch us ever closer to zero-waste environments. Creatively, it also allows our chefs to put to use our good practices to streamline food production, maximize efficiencies, and reduce costs. In the event that, despite our best efforts, we are still left with food waste (post-catered event, for example), we partner with various sites around New York City including Rescuing Leftover Cuisine, to ensure that any leftovers are put to good use.
RECYCLING + COMPOSTING
At various independent school sites, working in partnership with clients and partner companies, we take careful measures to reduce waste, recycle, and compost. We also take an active role in educating students and staff on the proper way to partake in these programs, often conducting on-site “waste challenges” where the community is encouraged to watch their waste and take only what they need.
Whenever possible, we utilize china and flatware in our dining rooms. When that is not an option, we make every effort to provide plates, cutlery, and napkins that are biodegradable and compostable. As of 2020, we have discontinued any use of plastic straws.
In addition to our in-classroom education programs, our customized Farmers’ Markets have been a great tool to educate our school communities on where our products come from. Parents and faculty members are able to purchase seasonal produce and house-made items. Students tour the market and often enjoy a short educational program that connects where food comes from with their daily cafe offerings.