The dumpster is typically not the first place you’d look to find your dinner, but what if a 6-course meal was waiting inside? Brooklyn gives dumpster diving a new meaning as Salvage Supperclub takes the streets of Williamsburg once a month to make a statement about food waste and sustainability. The initiative is all part of a graduate thesis called “Eat Everything” conducted by Josh Treuhaft, an MFA in Design For Social Innovation student at SVA. We enlisted one of our own to take a seat at the table and show us what’s it’s like to have a decent dinner in a dumpster.
At 50 dollars a plate, these dumpster dinners are anything but trashy. Chef Celia Lam of the Natural Gourmet Institute prepared an extravagant tasting menu of six courses Saturday night, and all the funds from the dinner were given to the non-profit organization Culinary Corps. From the tables guests eat off of to the food that is served, Salvage Supperclub is created completely with donated food and products that would have otherwise been throw away. The meals, complete with a cocktail hour, aim to showcase the potential in underused foods that most people never realize.
Sticking to a vegetarian menu, Josh and Celia visited places such as Migliorelli Farm, Bushwick Food Coop, Natural Goutmet Institute and more to gather the night’s ingredients. As each course was served, they explained how they made an edible dinner from foods that were deemed unsuitable to be sold. Processes like roasting bring out the taste in fading vegetables, and pureeing bruised apricots turned what would have been trash into a dumpster treat.
Saturday’s dinner attracted everyone from passersby to police as the 18 guests chowed down on salvaged food. While there was no illegal activity (save the champagne cocktail hour on public property), the site of a full on dumpster dinner was quite arresting.
Almost too typical of the Williamsburg scene, this retrofitted dining room made a bold statement about food waste and our perceptions of what’s considered good enough to eat.
You can check out Salvage Supperclub on social media: #salvagesupperclub // #eateverything