As Matt Moran's famed Chiswick restaurants celebrates its 5th birthday, we spoke to the chef about how he is tackling one serious problem in the food industry: waste.
Australia sends about four million tonnes of food to landfill every year.
The average Aussie discards up to 20 per cent of the food they buy - roughly one entire bag of food for every five bags they purchase.
Meanwhile, we have 2 million people seeking food relief each year.
As the owner of seven restaurants, Matt Moran is keenly aware of the industry's role in contributing to some of this waste. While it can't always be avoided, Matt is dedicated to reducing the waste in his kitchens.
"In all sincerity, it is such a priority within my restaurants that we generate very little food waste - we really do try to avoid it at all costs," he told Lifestyle. "We educate the staff pretty well and the kitchens are a pretty tightly run ship with good systems in place. Anything that is surplus we use for our staff meals."
Matt also works closely with OzHarvest and will be participating in their upcoming CEO CookOff. Partnering with one of 200 Australian business leaders, including Lifestyle's own General Manager, Hannah Barnes, Matt will help prepare a three course meal for over 1000 of Australia's homeless.
"It’s a charity that I hold really close to my heart, I’ve been an ambassador from the day they began," Matt said. "There’s no question that collectively, people waste too much food and good food should never be wasted."
In order to help reduce food waste at home, Matt has a few pointers.
Matt Moran's tips to reduce food waste
1. Plan ahead
Plan your meals for the week, Matt insists. "If you do this for the week, thinking about how ingredients can be incorporated into dishes made the next day, then you’ll definitely reduce your waste," he claims.
2. Give it to the kids
Leftover meats are gold for a kid's lunch box! Pop those leftover lamb cuts between two slices of bread and you have a sandwich that is bound to get eaten the next day.
3. Fish skins are great in salads
The skin is often considered the least desirable part of a fish - but fry it up and it makes a great nutritional and tasty seasoning for your salad.
4. Make stock
Bone broth was all the rage last year, but what is touted as some new age miracle cure is actually just plain, old stock - which you can make out of any meat bones or veg in your fridge. Drink or freeze it to add flavour to any pasta, soup, curry or stew down the track.
5. Don't throw out those rotten or wrinkly berries
Get creative. Make your dying fruit into jams, pies or coulis. Fruit is pricey, so you certainly don't want to be throwing it out.
The OzHarvest CEO CookOff is taking place in Sydney on Monday, March 6. To help OzHarvest continue their fantastic efforts to feed the nation’s homeless, visit their website to donate, or click here to support Matt Moran in the CookOff.