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“My Eats” by Chef Mayet

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A Sustainable Lifestyle

I am quite fortunate to work for a company that truly believes we have the opportunity and responsibility to make this place a better world through sustainable food service. I have been a part of the Bon Appetit team for only 15 years but have lived the “Farm to Fork” principle almost all my life.  As I recall my childhood in the Philippines I am reminded of how my grandmother cooked for us every day. She went to the market daily and bought fish and other seafood that was so fresh they were still swimming in their bags when she got home. She only cooked vegetables that were in season: corn, tomatoes, radishes, long beans, and eggplant in the summer…hard squashes in the winter or during the colder months, when the temperature actually got below 85 degrees. When I had a break from running around the melon or rice fields, I would hang out in the kitchen and help her cook. I was her sous chef. Those days were the best days of my childhood.

That story sounds prehistoric and it might as well be for my seven year old son who is going to grow up in the city and in Los Angeles nonetheless, with all the current technology and will face the new future of food. The story may sound ancient and foreign, but its meaning is never outdated…”nourish the community, buy local, waste not, and replenish our shared natural resources for future generation.” My son may never run around in a rice field or gut his own fish for dinner but I am thankful to know that there are companies like Bon Appetit, who are vested in the sustainability of our environment, whether it’s through sustainable food service, clean energy or basic recycling and food waste management, to ensure that the next generation may experience our present and possibly look into our past. But there is much hope on the road ahead as the millennials partner with generation x and baby boomers to explore new ways to cook, eat and shop. I read that the newest food trend for 2017 is root to stem movement, a new way of thinking about how we prepare and eat our food. Just think, the next time you buy broccoli, consider using the stalk and leaves too not just the florets-they are after all, edible.

You can be a part of the sustainable food movement by the choices that you make when you shop for your ingredients at home. It is always good to find out where your food comes from. Your local butcher, produce market and fishmonger should be able to provide you with answers. Buying produce that is in season is also less expensive and taste so much better than the ones that aren’t. The fewer miles your ingredients traveled the better they are when it comes to flavor and carbon footprint. Buy local whenever possible.

Now that the bleak California winter has passed and that summer is finally here, I am happy to see the beautiful and local summer fruits and vegetables. Sweet peas, asparagus, scallions, leeks, lettuces, carrots, tomatoes, avocadoes, cherries, strawberries! The list is long and the time is fleeting. I do my best to cook as much of these crop as I can while they’re in season. Hot weather calls for cooler dishes. I tend to prepare foods that require very little cooking when it’s a hot day…something fresh and light.

Click HERE to download Chef Mayet’s seasonal recipe for Albacore Tuna Kinilaw (Ceviche)