26 » OpenRoad Driver P L AT E S Trash to Treasure PENTICTON EATERIES Words and photos by Roslyne Buchanan » Three eateries in the heart of Penticton are breaking boundaries in culinary innovation and sustainability, and savvy diners are devouring their “trash cooking.” These community-minded Okanagan restaurants serve delicious cuisine. They support fresh and local, while highlighting culinary mindfulness. In our struggles to reduce our environmental impact and preserve our planet for future generations, food waste is an increasing concern. Many of us remember getting scolded to “clean up our plates and think of Africa’s starving children.” Respectful of that view, and food waste issues beyond, some chefs have stepped up to the plate to seek solutions. “Say No to Food Waste” organization - saynotowaste.org - reports that in developed countries most food waste – 55 to 65 percent – is at the consumer level. Nonetheless, chefs are uniquely positioned to lead in best kitchen practices. As chefs continue to ascend to superstar status, fans are emulating their actions. “Trash cooking” refers to using scraps or parts of the plant or animal that might routinely be considered garbage, for instance, vegetable trims and peels, tail-to-snout, tail-to-gill or tail-to-beak and “ugly-looking” fruits and vegetables. Such initiatives make sense for environmental stewardship and profitability while enthusing food artisans to deeper creativity. A mecca for those seeking Nature’s bounty, the Okanagan’s culinary revolution is thriving. How inspiring to “trash talk” with restaurants that are not taking it for granted. Skillet corn bread with craft herbs, lemon zest crème fraiche, and candied Maple Roch crumble.