Green Restaurant Blog


Deep Green

The motives driving Organic Chef Catering's comprehensive green emphasis include both practicality and idealism. "If you don't offer [green catering], your competitors will," says Events Director Eden Benavides, who co-founded the San Francisco-based green catering business with her partner, Culinary Director Luis Herrera, in 2005. (Full Article)

Nose-to-Tail Consumption

Pork face pancetta, country fried pig's ear, and fried chicken in beef tallow are raising far more interest than eyebrows these days at Portland's Country Cat Dinner House and Bar.(Full Article)

U.S. Green Building Council Announces Changes to LEED 2012, Delays Its Rollout

In response to concerns raised by members, core LEED users and stakeholders, and in an effort to provide the marketplace a view of the full LEED program experience prior to ballot, the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) announced that it will delay ballot on LEED 2012 until June 1, 2013 (or potentially earlier in 2013 if USGBC members and the market indicate readiness for ballot). Because of this date change, LEED 2012 is being renamed LEED v4. (Full Article)

Specifying Greener Ice Machines

Ice machines are a paradoxical bunch. They can be the forgotten workhorse in a kitchen and often come in last on equipment purchasing priorities. But at the same time, they open up incredible opportunities for total-kitchen energy savings because of their improved efficiencies. (Full Article)

The Bottom Line on Equipment Training

Foodservice operators may find proper equipment training to be something they can easily put on the back burner, especially during the chaos of new construction or an extensive rebuild. Despite the fact that the importance of training is often minimized, however, this factor can literally make or break an operation. (Full Article)

Preventative Maintenance Can Be Key to a Successful Summer

The increased temperatures and bump in summer business can cause trouble with refrigeration equipment but it doesn't have to. The summer months can present a double whammy to professional kitchens. On one hand, the extreme weather can impact the performance of certain pieces of equipment. On the other, vacationing families and young people out on summer break can make these months the busiest time of year for many foodservice establishments, placing this same equipment under the greatest strain. (Full Article)

Green Catering

Sustainable shrimp cocktail? Check. Local tomatoes stuffed with free-range chicken? Check. Compostable plates? Check. Leftover food going to a food bank? Check. If this checklist sounds familiar to you, you're likely already tapping into one of the hottest current catering trends � sustainable catering. (Full Article)

Massachusetts DEP Preparing Regulations Banning Hotels, Other Businesses from Discarding Food Waste

Regulations proposed in Massachusetts by that state's Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) will ban commercial businesses, including hotels, from discarding food waste. Greg Cooper, director of consumer programs for the DEP, expects the regulations to be implemented by the middle of 2014. "My feeling is that it is highly unlikely it will not happen," Cooper said. The DEP is currently in the process of holding a series of stakeholder meetings in order to develop a framework of what the ban will look like. Those discussions are taking place monthly. The framework for the regulations will done by fall, followed by some time for public comment. The regulation will be in draft form by the beginning of 2013. (Full Article)

Bars Go Green

More watering holes are going green to stand out from the competition, as well as help the environment. Bars are recycling glass bottles, composting leftovers and serving organic wines to signal to customers that they're serious about sustainability. The Green Restaurant Association, a nonprofit trade group with 850 members, has seen a 20% uptick in the number of member bars since 2010. (Full Article)

Two Shows in Two Weeks�Both Offering New Green Products, Services

This is a busy time for trade shows. This past week I attended the National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show in Chicago. Reflecting the improving economy, the event posted strong growth in both attendee and exhibitor numbers. The Show attracted 61,000 people from all 50 states and more than 100 countries�a 6 percent increase over 2011. From May 14 to 16 I will be in Las Vegas at Hospitality Design Expo & Conference. More than 900 exhibitors and 7,000 attendees are expected. I will be leading one of the four "green conversations" on the trade show floor during HD Expo (Tuesday, May 15, 10:30 a.m., Booth 3836.) The focus: "What are We Teaching Our Students and What Can They Teach Us?" (Full Article)

Kitchen Innovations winners tout energy savings

The National Restaurant Association's 2012 Kitchen Innovations (KI) Award winners were named by an independent panel of judges comprised of internationally recognized food facilities consultants, multi-unit executives and design experts. Award recipients were showcased in the interactive Kitchen Innovations Pavilion on the exhibit floor of the NRA Show, held May 5-8 in Chicago. (Full Article)

Green ideas served up for restaurants

Green initiatives are putting greenbacks in the hands of restaurants who take the time to weigh the benefits. Recycling, of everything from glass and cardboard to cooking oil, can be cost neutral or even put money back into the pockets of restaurant operators, supporters of restaurant conservation efforts say. (Full Article)

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