composted fine dining dish

From Food Waste to Fine Dining

At ICE, we’re constantly challenging ourselves to identify the issues, trends and ideas that will shape professional kitchens for years to come. In 2015, the topic of food waste was on the tip of everyone’s tongue. For Thanksgiving, my fellow ICE Chef Instructor Jenny McCoy shared two simple recipes utilizing sweet potato scraps and apple cores. In turn, I’ve been challenged to elevate these eco-friendly ideas with a modernist take on food waste. Utilizing leftover vegetables, egg whites and red wine, you can create a sustainable panna cotta that’s fit for fine dining.

food waste compost cuisine vegetarian

Leftover Vegetable Panna Cotta

Makes eight four-ounce servings of panna cotta

  • 2.25g iota-carrageenan (0.3%)
  • 0.375g kappa-carrageenan (0.05%)
  • 500g vegetable puree (made from about 1 lb, or 2 cups leftover vegetables)
  • 250g milk (1 cup)
  • optional: red leaf sorrel (or other small-leaf greens) and edible flowers


  1. Set up a blender and lay out eight four-ounce ramekins. Rub the ramekins with butter or spray with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Measure the iota-carrageenan and kappa-carrageenan and reserve.
  3. Combine the vegetable puree and milk in a saucepot and bring to a boil. Season to taste.
  4. Quickly transfer the boiling puree mixture to the blender and blend on low. With the blender running, add both of the carrageenans and turn the blender to high. Blend on high for 10 seconds to hydrate the carrageenans.
  5. Immediately pour the puree into the ramekins and refrigerate to set. Refrigerate at least two hours before unmolding.
  6. To plate, unmold panna cotta and decorate with broken shards of meringue, small-leaf greens and edible flower petals.

Crunchy Red Wine Meringue

  • 480g (2 cups) red wine
  • Optional spices: cinnamon stick, fennel seed, star anise
  • 13g (1 tablespoon) red wine vinegar
  • Pinch kosher salt
  • 120g (4) egg whites
  • 220g (1 cup) sugar
  • 70g (½ cup) powdered sugar
  • Fresh cracked black pepper
  1. Preheat the oven to 150F.
  2. Line a baking sheet with a nonstick baking mat or parchment paper.
  3. Simmer the wine with spices of your choosing in a small saucepot. Cook until reduced to a glaze. Remove from the heat and stir in the vinegar. Set aside to cool while you prepare the meringue.
  4. Place the egg whites in a bowl and add a pinch of salt. Whisk by hand or with an electric mixer until very frothy. Continue beating, adding the sugar one tablespoon at a time. When the egg whites are smooth and glossy and hold stiff peaks, stop whisking and fold in the powdered sugar.
  5. Gently fold in the cooled red wine reduction. Don’t worry about any remaining streaks, by the time the mixture is spread on a tray, the color will be homogenous.
  6. Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking tray. Spread with a spatula into a very thin layer. Dry in the oven at 150F until crisp, about four to six hours. Break into pieces and store in a cool, dry place.

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