Does Sustainable Cuisine Need To Be Complex?

The path to green cuisine is one that can be taken in all sorts of different ways and can involve extensive data analysis, close farm-to-fork relationships between suppliers and restaurants, and careful micromanagement of every aspect of the business.

However, whilst all of these ways to create more environmentally conscious dining establishments are important and valid, is sustainability necessarily complex, or are there ways to work towards a Michelin Green Star that can be achieved without the need for analytics and complex technology?

The answer is that green cuisine is often far less complicated than most people imagine, and a lot of approaches that make a restaurant more environmentally friendly also make it more efficient and financially sound.

Minimizing food waste is a great example of this. Whilst the environmental case for this is to reduce the amount of food that ends up being wasted, the business case is that customers would be content with smaller portions and careful inventory management is key to avoid spoiled food regardless of the green case for it.

Many fine dining restaurants would benefit by adopting the approach pioneered by Alain Passard’s L'Arpège restaurant in Paris, which was one of the first restaurants with three Michelin Stars to have a vegetarian menu.

Adopting a seasonal menu, working with local farmers, foraging and farming your own produce and having either vegan options or a primarily vegan menu can all make a considerable difference when it comes to sustainability, but do not need to be complicated.

Finally, part of the change can be less about the food itself and more about changing how the people who eat at your restaurant think about it.

The wider slow food movement focuses on the joy of local cuisine, focusing on quality and eschewing overproduction and waste, as well as a focus on ethical cuisine and being a pillar of local communities.

September 01, 2023 — Jake Blakey