RA In the News

Apr 22, 2020

Chef Max Cavaleri Teams Up with Baldor Specialty Foods

In a recent article in Food Management Magazine, RA at New York Times Executive Chef Max Cavaleri was featured for his work alongside Baldor Specialty Foods on creating inspiring new recipes to reduce food waste for The Food Asset Potential event back in early March. The goal was to utilize as much of their food as possible. An excerpt from this great piece is below, click here to read the full article on Food Management Magazine's website.

"The cool recipes for the Food Asset Potential event were developed by Restaurant Associates' Executive Chef Max Cavaleri and Thomas McQuillan, food sustainability leader and VP of strategy, culture and sustainability at Baldor Specialty Foods (a partner of the café)...Baldor distributes produce to many restaurant and onsite foodservice clients. One of those things is a line called Fresh Cuts, processed items like carrot sticks and pineapple chunks. 'There's a lot left over,' McQuillan says. 'The 'asset' in the Food Asset Potential is about capturing that product and finding a use for it. For example, we take some of the vegetable scraps, dehydrate them and turn that into poultry feed.'

How to make the leap from feeding chickens to feeding people? By working with an experienced chef like Cavaleri, for starters. Before joining the NYT team with Restaurant Associates, Cavaleri has worked for Levy Restaurants at Dodger Stadium and The Staples Center, at The Plaza Hotel, Café Boulud and other famous New York City spots.

Another way to access the asset of about-to-be-wasted food is changing the perception. McQuillan says he purposely avoids saying 'scraps' but instead has changed it to 'SparCs' and he's hoping it'll catch on. McQuillan has sold produce to Cavaleri and the two have brainstormed on how to use everything. For example, carrot peels have become a savory carrot peel cracker. Cavaleri topped the crackers with a farmers' cheese that was getting close to its expiration date. 

Pineapple cores, another often-overlooked piece of produce, were cut into cylinders, frozen and set aside. Cavaleri used outer-wall peelings of turmeric and ginger roots to make a syrupy tonic for a cocktail with Pellegrino water and the chunks of pineapple core to chill the drink. This could be made with vodka or gin for a cocktail or left plain as a mocktail.

Editors' note: This story was reported before the coronavirus pandemic hit. Food waste is an enormous issue, and though it might not be top of mind at present, we hope this story provides some inspiration."

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