France Is Getting Aggressive with Food Waste

We wrote recently about tackling food waste, a major contributor to climate change causing emissions, by embracing ugly food. Although the ugly food movement has footholds worldwide, some of it’s strongest proponents are in France, including Nicholas Chabanne of Gueules Cassées. But as wonderful as the idea is to get “imperfect” produce out of landfills and onto our plates, it requires reversing a lot of momentum and decades of habits for both consumers and suppliers. Since the French government has stated that they intend to cut food waste in half by 2025, they are pulling out all the stops necessary to do so.

In May, the French National Assembly passed legislation requiring grocery stores to have formal contracts with food banks and implementing hefty fines for throwing out food or deliberately spoiling it (an apparently common practice to prevent dumpster diving). Now the French government has made it illegal for large restaurants (generally those seating over 150) not to offer doggy bags to all guests. Since the French do not have a native word for the concept, it could be slow to catch on, but every bit counts in a nation where restaurants are such a vital part of the national economy.

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Andrew Carmellini Comes to Brooklyn

Andrew Carmellini’s NoHo Hospitality Group, which brought Manhattan border-hopping concepts ranging from the French bistro (Lafayette) to the Italian cafe (Bar Primi) to the American oyster-house (The Dutch), not to mention a few hotel restaurants (Locanda Verde and Little Park), will finally come to Brooklyn this summer. The NoHo group, which includes Carmellini and partners Luke Ostrom and Josh Pickard,  will be taking over food and beverage operations at The William Vale hotel: a 21 story building with 183 rooms, a ballroom, indoor-outdoor bar, and an elevated 15,000 square ft. public green space. They will be responsible for the hotel’s dedicated restaurants, as well as the bar, room service, and any events catering. Fortunately their CVs are up to the task and they have the enthusiasm to match. In a statement to BKMagazine, they said “We love Williamsburg and know this property will be an anchor for the neighborhood. The timing is just right.”

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