Michelin-starred doggy bags?

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Thumbnail image for Hugh Fearnley-WhittingstallTV chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall has called on UK restaurateurs to offer diners doggy-bags to take left over food home in.

The River Cottage star and chicken saviour agreed with an article in Waitrose Food Illustrated urging more people to take home unfinished food when eating out - even in high-end restaurants.

20 million tonnes of food are thrown away each year in Britain. That includes three million tonnes from restaurants alone, according to figures from Wrap, the Government's environmental pressure group.

Waitrose Food Illustrated editor, William Sitwell, argued diners need to get over their embarrassment, and restaurants need to offer doggy bags in order to waste less.

Michelin-starred doggy bags then?

What are your thoughts?

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3 Comments

Where appropriate I have no qualms of asking to bag up. I remember my girlfriend and I sharing a 2.5KG lobster on our anniversary. She couldn’t eat her claw (the smaller claw). So we asked to take it home. It was taken away and duly presented in a vacuum sealed bag – so the restaurant even had the facilities to do this. We had great fun travelling back in the tube pretending we were in a David Cronenbourg film with a lobster claw gun… 

But high end restaurants – how’s it going to work – your soufflé Suissesse comes out at Le Gavroche and you’re reaching for the Tupperware.... it’s not going to happen is it?

Fearnley-Whittingstall should encourage people to order only what they can eat and restaurants to make reasonable sized portions, or do more tasting style options so you can try lots of the restaurants key dishes, without ordering too much food. Allow people to split dishes into two taster size portions so they can make their own ‘taster menus’ I know some people ask for this already – but by formalising it on the menu it’ll encourage people to think differently. The Italian restaurant Bocca di Lupo has this approach on its menus.

Thanks for your comment, Ian.

Your opinion is along the same lines as Michel Roux Jnr's who said: “I do have an issue with there being something left on the plate in the first place. Good service should mean correct portion sizes and if something is left on the plate the maitre d’ should ask the customer if there was something wrong with the meal.”

Maybe they just need to be re-branded. My grandmother has a miniscule appetite these days so always asks for a 'doggy bag', but one place last week took it literally and put everything in one go into a supermarket - fine for feeding to your dog. If restaurants kept foil containers for leftovers these would be ideal for a take-out.

Everyone I cook for has different appetites which depends on so many factors - it's almost impossible to judge, so when leftovers do occur I leave them clingfilmed in their fridge for the next day - an easy lunch maybe. At the end of the day people are paying for it, so it seems wrong throwing it away.

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