We’ve been fortunate to have a lot of wonderful and slightly offbeat fundraising events over the years, from our Cold Brew coffee stand at Farm Aid; to our highly-competitive gumbo cook-off; to a “gourmet all-you-can-eat nacho bar” extravaganza hosted by two of our alums in Chicago. However, gathering, cooking and serving what others have already thrown away (or are about to) is an idea that never crossed our mind. Until this week!
Celia Lam, a recent Natural Gourmet Institute graduate and current chef-volunteer for our 2014 trip, recently hosted a “Dumpster Dine” in Brooklyn serving her guests an incredibly complex vegetarian meal from perfectly great ingredients (that just happened to find their way into the trash.) Eighteen guests dined al fresco in a specially constructed outdoor dining table crafted from a (scrubbed clean!) dumpster. With hanging bulb lights and green tea lights for ambiance, the overall effect was transporting as well as though-provoking. Just how much perfectly good food do we throw away each day? What can we all be doing to make sure the food we buy is put to good use? Best of all, the proceeds from this Salvage Supperclub event will be donated to CulinaryCorps. A win for the environment, a win for the diners and a win for us too. All in all, a perfect night, even it was spent in an oversized trash can.