The Green Tables initiative was launched in the fall of 2005 by Les Dames d’Escoffier International as the very first Initiative across all chapters of the organization. Green Tables mission is to connect innovative, sustainable agriculture, including urban and rural farms/gardens with restaurant, school and kitchen tables across LDEI chapter communities.
Over the years under this Initiative, our New York chapter has worked with local organizations who share the same goals of promoting community health through care of the environment and educating the community about sustainability and the part they play in preserving our resources. We have conducted events at farmers markets and supported culinary nutrition eduction for children and families in public schools as part of Wellness in the Schools program.
More recently, our Green Tables committee has been focused on enhancing our members’ capacity to practice and promote sustainability within their food businesses. To this end we embarked on a series of webinars to inspire them to take the lead in promoting a more healthful, equitable and sustainable environment.
Les Dames NY Green Tables Hydroponic Greenhouse Tour took place on October 22, 2018 at Farm.One from 6:00 to 8:00pm. The enthusiastic group included 14 Dames plus 8 guests who were treated to a special tour of Farm.One’s unique hydroponic greenhouse which supplies over 100 varieties of specialty herbs and edible flowers to some 50 restaurants in New York City. Many of the herbs are grown to order for specific customers and the Farm.One scientists are always looking for new plants to entice their customers. We were fortunate to be able to taste a relatively unknown ancient Mexican herb, Papalo - which tastes like a cross between cilantro and arugula - and purple oxalis, that's grown for its stunning leaves, but is actually edible with a tart-citrusy taste.
An assortment of tasty hors d’oeuvres, prepared using freshly harvested herbs from the farm, were served along with a basil and green herb infused mocktail, and Paumanok Vineyards' lovely Rose, which was graciously donated by Dame Ursula Massoud. View Pictures HERE
The first webinar, Head-to-Tail in the Kitchen: Zero Waste and Your Food Business, was conducted on April 5th. We presented a national organization with a goal of food waste prevention, saving resources, creating jobs, conserving energy and water while alleviating hunger. On a local level, we spoke with a representative of the NYC Department of Sanitation regarding the Zero Waste Initiative and how it will not only impact local businesses but benefit us all through waste recycling strategies. A case study of Abigail Kirsch Catering offered a window into how one business implemented “Green” practices and found solutions that saved resources and money. The webinar was recorded and can be viewed HERE.
"Fair" Trade Chocolate: From Bean to Bar
Tuesday September 26th at 1:00 - 2:15 pm EST
Our second webinar - free to LDNY and LDEI members - Fair Trade Chocolate from Bean to Bar - explored the world of chocolate and how sustainable practices affect product, people, and nature, resulting in significant differences between mass produced and single origin chocolate. Moderated by Dame Alexandra Leaf - Director of The Big Chocolate Show - our panel of experts were: Clay Gordon creator of The Chocolate Life; Amy Guittard of Guittard Chocolates; Jenny Sameniego founder of Connexion Chocolate; and Dame Rhonda Kave founder of Roni-Sue's Chocolates. All shared their knowledge, providing insight into the dynamic changes within the chocolate producing world and the implications for pastry chefs and chocolatiers alike. Complete information, including bios, can be viewed HERE. The recorded webinar can be viewed HERE. The LDNY Green Tables webinar program would not be possible without the support of the Green Tables Committee: Dames Lynn Fredericks, Kathryn Gordon, Rhonda Kave and Joanne Lamb Hayes.
The True Meaning of Sustainable Seafood
Wednesday, April 18th, from 1:00 - 2:15 pm EST
What is "Sustainable" Seafood? How is the term misused? What is the state of our oceans? This Green Tables Educational Webinar explores the concept of sustainable seafood, cleaner oceans, the state of low-impact fish farming and the ways food businesses and individuals can get involved in making a difference including educating their customers.
The discussion is moderated by Dame Stefanie Sacks, and the expert panel includes: Sean Barrett, Founder of Dock to Dish; Paul Greenberg, Author of Four Fish, American Catch and the forthcoming Omega Principle; Marianne Cufone, founder of Recirculating Farms Coalition; Trevor Swope of Blue Hill at Stone Barns, will share their knowledge and provide insight into our changing oceans and how implementing sustainable methods in the fishing industry will protect diminishing fish populations and benefit consumers.
For more information, contact Green Tables Chair Nancy Jessup, via firstname.lastname@example.org
Members of LDNY are encouraged to volunteer. For more information, contact the Green Tables committee chair.