Donna Whelden, Executive Chef of North Andover (Mass.) Country Club, challenges her team as well as herself to come up with innovative ways to cross-utilize products and minimize waste.
“It doesn’t have to be over the top,” she says. “The goal is simply to minimize what goes into the trash.”
One of Whelden’s all-time favorite waste-reduction dishes is the tenderloin slider.
“Since I insist on cutting my own steaks, it’s a great way to repurpose the ends of the tenderloin that don’t make the cut for filets,” she says. “We sear the meat, then layer it on a toasted brioche slider bun topped with caramelized onions and horseradish cream sauce. It’s a super-easy pick-up, and the members love it.”
Any remaining tenderloin that doesn’t make it into the sliders gets roasted in the oven and popped into the pressure cooker with mire poix for an hour and a half. The result is a delicious beef broth for soup, or to fortify a sauce.
“This strategy works for almost everything that gets prepped in our kitchen,” says Whelden. “Breaking down salmon? Salmon burgers. The possibilities are endless.”