At Marist College, located within New York’s regional culinary hotspot, the Hudson Valley, the aptly named Valley Café series—one-off events with space for 150 guests—is Marist Dining Services’ way of expanding that culinary reach even further with educational events throughout the year.
For a recent Valley Café, the topic was food waste and the catalyst was a student, Carly Kolstad, who approached the dining team with a bushel full of ideas for repurposing food scraps.
“At Marist, anytime we have students come and want to collaborate with us, we always take that opportunity,” says Kate Cole, field marketing specialist. “Recently, we’ve had more students interested in cultural heritage and sustainability; those two topics especially. Carly had traveled to a few different countries and she visited a café where they were serving repurposed food; they used 100% of everything. She said, ‘Could we do something like that?’ We were definitely up for the challenge.”
For the planet-focused collab, Marist Dining Production & Purchasing Manager Burcu Schofield and the rest of the culinary team got to work on a menu featuring apple cores, apple skins, kale stems, pumpkin seeds and more.
“I have to say, this was the most challenging Valley Café I have done,” Schofield says. “We called a local vendor and asked them to purchase misfit vegetables. We got kale that had started to yellow.”
While you may be wondering how those ingredients can turn out great, ponder this: Ever made candles out of orange peels? Brownies from coffee grounds? Tablecloths from plant juice? Click through to see a few more of the innovative repurposing ideas from the food waste-themed event.
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