Teaching and living sustainable practices in culinary management

Faculty, students at Kingstec Campus support Devour Film Fest with sustainable feast

Teaching and living sustainable practices in culinary management

Chef Peter Dewar and his Kingstec Campus Culinary Management students prepared an amuse bouche consisting of shallot apple mignonette, oyster panna cotta, and sea buckthorn gelée for the 2019 Devour! The Food Film Fest.

“The more responsible we are in the ingredients we choose and how we use them, the more we can reduce our environmental impact. By imparting that to our students, we believe they will embrace it and come up with more ways that they can make a difference when they enter the workforce.” ~ Chef Peter Dewar, Kingstec Campus Faculty

Fast Fact

Devour! The Food Film Fest is a transformative food and film experience that combines cinematic excellence with extraordinary gastronomic activities. The six-day festival, held in Wolfville, NS, hosts over 100 events, celebrated filmmakers and high-profile chefs from around the globe. It aims to inspire people to think differently about food and create a deeper connection to it.

When Chef Peter Dewar and his Kingstec Campus Culinary Management students prepared an amuse bouche consisting of shallot apple mignonette, oyster panna cotta, and sea buckthorn gelée for the 2019 Devour! The Food Film Fest, they made it sustainable, right to the core.

“Instead of sending paper or bamboo plates to the landfill, we decided to use apples as the vessel for the dish so they could be fed to pigs afterwards,” Chef Dewar says. “We went out late in the season and picked ones that would have wound up as ground apples and then we paired them with oysters that were not choice, meaning they were ugly and hard to shuck. We wanted to show students that you don’t need the most beautiful ingredients to make amazing food, but more than that, we wanted them to see that you can do it in an environmentally friendly way.”

The dish reflects the principles of a newly launched Culinary Management curriculum, one designed to instill a new generation of chefs with the knowledge and inspiration to approach food preparation in a sustainable way. “When the faculty at NSCC developed the new curriculum, we decided this was a priority, not just for the sake of our livelihood but for our planet,” Chef Dewar says. “The more responsible we are in the ingredients we choose and how we use them, the more we can reduce our environmental impact. By imparting that to our students, we believe they will embrace it and come up with more ways that they can make a difference when they enter the workforce.”

Leaving nothing to go to waste

That dedication to increased sustainability has manifested itself in many ways. Chef Dewar says there is an agreement with a local supplier to use imperfect products to prepare meals for the Kingstec Campus food bank. There are plans to replace paper with state-of-the-art hand drying technology in the new kitchen that is being built on campus. And food items made in class are offered for sale to the public.

“We did a lab on dips and sauces and the hummus, tabbouleh, and baba ghanoush and everything we did not taste was packaged in reusable containers and sold at our café,” Chef Dewar says. “Anything we produce that we don’t serve at the restaurant is sold through our café. It’s very much an entrepreneurial model that encourages students to think about how we can sell or use the foods we produce so they do not go into a bin or sit spoiling in a fridge.”

Overall, Chef Dewar says the curriculum has been warmly embraced, not just on campus, but in the community. “Students are more environmentally aware today, so there is a real excitement in knowing that they will be able to apply the techniques they are learning to revolutionize the way food establishments operate,” he says. “At the same time, industry is telling us they want trainees who have sustainability skills, so there is a real commitment from everyone to make changes that benefit our communities and help protect our food supplies.”

Chef Dewar plans to build on that shared commitment, looking for more opportunities to build sustainable practices and techniques into the Culinary Management program. “I hope that we can continue to inspire chefs to be more conscious about the ingredients they use, the way they cook, and what they do with the food once they are done,” he says. “That’s the legacy I want to help create.”

16/12/19

“The more responsible we are in the ingredients we choose and how we use them, the more we can reduce our environmental impact. By imparting that to our students, we believe they will embrace it and come up with more ways that they can make a difference when they enter the workforce.” ~ Chef Peter Dewar, Kingstec Campus Faculty

Fast Fact

Devour! The Food Film Fest is a transformative food and film experience that combines cinematic excellence with extraordinary gastronomic activities. The six-day festival, held in Wolfville, NS, hosts over 100 events, celebrated filmmakers and high-profile chefs from around the globe. It aims to inspire people to think differently about food and create a deeper connection to it.

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