Archive for the ‘People’

Sierra Nevada Brewery (Chico, CA)07.29.08

With the first batches arriving in 1980, the Sierra Nevada Brewery takes its brewing quite seriously, but has a major commitment to sustainable practices as well. What sort of sustainable practices? It’s a laundry list… here are some highlights:

    A 1.4MW solar installation
    Four 250kW fuel cells for heat and electricity
    Almost 98% waste-diversion (recycling)
    Fully integrated heat-recovery systems
    CO2 recovery from fermentation
    50% reduction in water consumption compared to a typical brewing operation

They’ve made it a big enough deal to score a very detailed page at Wikipedia and a visit from Governor Schwarzenegger.

If you can get through all the beer and concert information, there are tidbits to find. Information on the fuel cell system [pdf] is available. There is also an on-topic interview with Ken Grossman.

Posted in 2000 Water, 3300 Heat Management, 3900 On-Site Energy Production, 4200 Recycling, Beverages, Fuel Cell, People, Photovoltaicwith No Comments →

Gaia Napa Valley [LEED-Gold]07.29.08

The 130-ish room [self-proclaimed] “greenest hotel in the US,” Gaia Nappa Valley by Wen-I Chang (Butterfly Effect Hotels / Atman Hospitality Group) includes a… restaurant. The menu emphasizes locally-grown food.

There are a good number of reviews, and many of them describe the big plans for the Gaia brand, but even with coverage in bohemian.com, cnet, and USA Today details on sustainability features of the food service operation at Gaia are pretty sparse.

The backstory on Gaia’s development apparently starts in a restaurant – where an effort to save water caught Mr. Chang’s attention. 8 years and $20 million later, a hotel was born – and now there are more (in Anderson, CA and soon, Merced, CA).

Incidentally, Gaia Nappa Valley won the Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI) 2007 award of excellence for commercial canopies for Rainier Industries. Congratulations.

Posted in 7100 LEED, LEED-Gold, Peoplewith No Comments →

Green Restaurants in the Washington Post (Washington, DC)02.09.08

Tracking the breadcrumbs from the Restaurant Reformer introduction to Nora Pouillon, we find the January 16, 2008 Washington Post article, A Tall Order of Green (Walter Nicholls) discusses Le Pain Quotidien, the first Green Restaurant Association restaurant in the District of Columbia and the Green Restaurant Association (GRA) itself. The DC location is part of a Belgian chain with 28 units across the US. They’re also having trouble finding all the necessary support infrastructure, specifically, a company that will haul away compostable kitchen waste (alert: business opportunity).

Among other environmental effects, the GRA says, the U.S. restaurant industry accounts for one-third of all energy used by retail businesses and is five times as energy-intensive as other retail businesses, including lodging. The group cites studies gathered for Dining Green, a book published by the GRA in 2004, showing that on average, every restaurant meal served produces 1 1/2 pounds of trash. Half of that, the GRA says, is food waste that could be composted.

While not GRA-certified, Chef Nora Pouillon has been in this mode for decades. She is specifically looking for certified organic cotton chef jackets and pants (alert: business opportunity).

Now pursuing GRA-certification, Java Shack in Arlington, VA and Sweetgreen in Georgetown.

Java Shack has managed to cut 1/3rd of its water and 2/3rds of its electric costs. They’ve found a composting option and converted to corn-based coffee cups, but the GRA wants additional steps before certification.

The article also cites Grille Zone in Boston as an example, which manages to produce just half a trash bag of waste while serving an average of 150 customers per day.

Posted in 4000 Waste Mitigation, Handling and Disposa, Chefs, GRA, Media Coverage, Restaurantswith 1 Comment →

Nora Pouillon, Restaurant Nora and Asia Nora (Washington, DC)02.02.08

Opened in 1979, and still one of the most committed examples of organic, seasonal and local restaurant kitchens, we at Restaurant Reformer direct your attention to Nora. In 1999, Nora was the first restaurant in the country certified organic. Chef Nora Pouillon also takes the education of her guests seriously, putting information on the origins and issues around her food right on the menu. She makes no bones about the fact that quality ingredients aren’t cheap.

Following Nora, Asia Nora opened in 1996, bringing Chef Pouillon’s vision to asian-influenced flavors. Asia Nora closed in December of 2007.

Chef Pouillon was honored by the Organic Trade Association in 2004, and she is a founding member of the Seafood Choices Alliance. She’s been named 1997 Chef of the Year by the International Association of Culinary Professionals. You can often find her speaking at various engagements around the country (and the world?).

More on Nora Pouillon in Eat Washington, Star Chefs, Chef2Chef, CNN, and The O’Mama Report.

Cooking with Nora (208 pages of seasonal recipes) is available from Amazon.

Posted in Chefs, Organic, Restaurantswith 1 Comment →

Whitney Gaunte, Fish (Sausalito, CA)02.01.08

Owned by Bill Foss and around since 2004, a new kitchen crew came to Fish in November 2005, led by Whitney Gaunte. The hook (ahem) is sustainable, fresh, local fish. A fixed menu is supplemented by specials. Nearly universally recognized as expensive, and they don’t take plastic, Fish is about fish – and there’s a fish market there too.

More on Fish from around the web: The Chronicle (twice), Foodhoe, Sausalitoeats, Yelp, Metroactive, Citysearch, Tripadvisor, Fork and Bottle , and Off the Meat Hook, which gives us our conclusion: “Delicious but crazy expensive”

Posted in Chefs, Local, Restaurants, Seafoodwith No Comments →

Megenity, Mercury Cafe (Denver, CO)01.13.08

Far out on the edge of sustainability in food service, we find a place in Denver, Colorado. Featuring a living wall, greywater recycling, two wind turbines, no air conditioning, 99% organic, 80% local food sourcing, Marilyn Megenity at the Mercury Café is pushing hard on the sustainability front, with a specific goal of being completely off-grid.

More on the Mercury Café at the BBC, the Denver Post, and Greenprint Denver.

Posted in 2700 Greywater, 3000 Energy, Air Conditioning, Local, Organic, People, Restaurants, Windwith No Comments →

Cooking up a Story: Terroir01.09.08

A short (4.5-minute) video featuring Stu Stein of Terroir (Portland, OR) is found at Cooking Up a Story. Stein also has a cookbook (now out of print, but apparently available through Terroir), which also has a website. Stein is also interviewed at Global Chefs.

Posted in Chefs, Restaurantswith No Comments →

15+5 Green Chefs, 200701.08.08

The list compiled at grist.org in July 2007 includes:

Alice Waters, Chez Panisse, Berkeley, Calif., U.S.
Dan Barber, Blue Hill at Stone Barns, Pocantico Hills, N.Y., U.S.
Alain Passard, L’Arpège, Paris, France
Fergus Henderson, St. John Restaurant, London, U.K.
Chris Cosentino, Incanto, San Francisco, Calif., U.S.
Jamie Oliver, Fifteen, London, U.K.
Andrea Reusing, Lantern, Chapel Hill, N.C., U.S.
Corrado Assenza, Caffé Sicilia, Noto, Sicily, Italy
Tod Murphy, Farmers Diner, Quechee, Vt., U.S.
Ted Walter, Passion Fish, Pacific Grove, Calif., U.S.
Paulo Martins, Lá em Casa, Belém, Brazil
David Kinch, Manresa, Los Gatos, Calif., U.S.
Ferran Adrià, El Bulli, Roses, Spain
Peter Hoffman, Savoy, New York, N.Y., U.S.
Mari Fujii, Kamakura, Japan

Runners-up:
Frank Stitt, Highlands Bar & Grill, Birmingham, Ala., U.S.
Michel Nischan, Dressing Room, Westport, Conn., U.S.
Tory Miller, L’Etoile, Madison, Wis., U.S.
Christine Kim, Green Zebra, Chicago, Ill., U.S.
Michel Bras, Restaurant Bras, Laguiole, France

… and many, many more included in the comments there.

Posted in Chefs, Restaurantswith No Comments →

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