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Industry Updates

Introducing Chef Jehangir Mehta Of Zero Waste Kitchen

Written by
Elmera Asadipour

It’s the small things.

Chef Jehangir has created an atmosphere of not only good food, but doing things the right way. With three restaurants - Graffiti Earth, Me and You, and Mehtaphor – he manages to keep his focus on what matters most: keeping guests enchanted, while staying true to responsible sourcing and creative use of menu items.

Good food prepared simply while adhering to a philosophy that stems from an Ayurvedic upbringing is the foundation for his thoughtful approach to everything. Coming from a third world country, Mehta believes enjoying the true riches of food is not only deserved for the rich.

When Chef Jehangir started his restaurant, his primary goal was to make people happy. By serving food that is thoughtfully prepared, Chef Jehangir honors his guests and the food.

Proteins and vegetables are utilized thoroughly from nose to tail and root to tip. If not utilized on a guest’s plate, then extra meat, bones, or peelings are then repurposed as stock to be used later. He also uses food that is naturally efficient - like mushrooms that use less water by design - and these are fully thought out and incorporated into the menu.

In Chef Jehangir’s kitchen, it isn’t just the food that is given a second life. Napkins are made from scraps of cloth and are smaller than average to save water. Silverware used in the restaurants are handed down and newspapers are placements.

Menus are printed on both sides and if old, they are burned off adding a charming, but useful touch.

Chef Jehangir works with vendors who offer smaller minimums so he can order daily rather than large orders for the week. This helps him reduce food waste and make the most of what he purchases. If Jehangir does have extra, he shares between his other restaurants. He was trained early to quickly gauge what he needs to maintain an efficient kitchen.

You may know Chef Jehangir as a former Iron Chef nominee and most recently given the moniker ‘Food Waste Crusader’ by Food Republic. We would say it is a title he wears well. Stay close with Chef Jehangir to discover his best restaurant practices and watch him rise to ultimate sustainability!

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