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Tackling food waste at press events

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Tackling food waste at press events

Spoiler alert: I’m not sure what the solution is to the problem I’m outlining this week, which is food waste. I’m aware that what follows makes me sound like Lady Muck, but it’s very much on my mind. This is written on the back of judging three culinary competitions in as many days, and although I did my very best to eat everything in front of me, there were still a lot of leftovers.

It’s a dilemma for those who want to showcase their products to journalists. Also, last week I went to a delightful event at Marks & Spencer HQ to taste their new Collection dishes and was served a rib of beef the size of my forearm, after a plate piled high with langoustine and scallops, a bowl of rich mushroom pasta and before four tiers of ice-cream sandwiches, tiramisu and fruit tarts… you get the idea.

Inevitably, the food at these events is designed for maximum impact – chefs competing for a prize want to present beautiful plates and PRs want reports of (and social posts featuring) opulent desserts and abundant mezze – but at a time when we are all conscious of minimising waste, is there a smarter way? Of the five contestants in a very high calibre California wine and food pairing competition, I applaud the chef who served one plate in the size and style he designed, then gave each judge a small plate with just enough to taste and assess.

I’d love to see that idea adopted more widely, or even give guests at an event the option of a small or full-size version of the menu. Believe me, I am very much a fan of delicious food, but please don’t make me consider bringing my Tupperware along…

What Lisa Thinks…

“This perfectly timed press release had all the information in bite-sized pieces (groan!) It also made me think a feature on beer-mat recipes could be fun!”

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