Practical sustainable dining

Discover a world where every dish is a story about respecting nature, connecting with local producers and committing to a more sustainable future.


Meet Tony Salomon, chef instructor in charge of retraining programs at École Ducasse, and Florence Battut, permaculturist and connection cultivator, to learn more about the concept of sustainability and also the importance of slowing down, reconnecting with the earth, living in the moment and enjoying every bite. Bon Appetit!


What is Restaurant Sustainability?


A sustainable restaurant is first and foremost a restaurant that respects the seasonal nature of the produce served to customers. This applies to fruit and vegetables as well as meat and fish. Chefs’ who run sustainable restaurants choose to use short supply food chains and make sure they waste as little as possible, while also being creative when reusing waste.


Sustainability in restaurants is more than just actions, it’s a philosophy. In a way, it’s about good citizenship. It’s about asking questions, providing answers and making a difference to the environment we live in.


Permaculturist, Florence Battut, elaborates on this idea by agreeing that restaurants which promote sustainable food is a restaurant that does everything on a local level.


“I think it should reflect the region in which it is located. The restaurant must be connected to its local environment, the special features of the region, the characteristics of the land and the local producers, fishermen, breeders and arboriculturists. Their know-how is just as invaluable as a chef’s, because a chef can only create a good menu if he has good produce.”


A sustainable restaurant is a restaurant where the chefs are aware of the work done by the people who cultivate the land and supply raw materials. This works to protect the diversity of our regions and support our producers, by showing respect for the environment, nature and all living species.


"We can no longer ignore the fact that today’s chefs also cultivate the world when they choose their produce. So they have a duty to choose their produce with care.” - Chef Alain Ducasse


The Benefits of a Sustainable Restaurant Menu


There are many advantages to sustainable cuisine, not just for customers and chefs, but for the Earth itself.


You can do this by using seasonal produce from short supply food chains, creating high-quality dishes with a real added value.


There’s also an educational side, because you can pass on your knowledge and raise awareness on this topic. If you choose to offer sustainable cuisine, it’s easy to create a story with real and accurate information about where your produce comes from, how it’s farmed or reared, and also about the producers involved in each and every one of your produce.


Beyond the story and the emotions, choosing sustainable methods is a way of spreading a positive message around you.


In a way, you are creating new virtuous circles. This will help you to get closer not only to your customers, but also to your suppliers. If you’re committed to sustainable cuisine, you need to know the farmers you’re working with and what they produce. You have to do everything locally.


Breakdown: benefits of a sustainable menu


  • Short supply chains
  • Higher quality dishes (fresher food)
  • Educational/situational awareness
  • Economic (support local producers)
  • Animal welfare (can choose farmers who are working locally and ethically)




Reduce food waste, buy local, how to source and cook sustainably like a professional chef


Cooking sustainably like a professional chef is simple. Start by choosing local shops, buy seasonally, reuse your fruit and veg peelings and make broth from your meaty left-overs.


Here’s a practical example:


When you buy bread, forget about supermarkets and chain stores, and go to your local baker.


What about filling your fridge? Ask around and see if there’s a market nearby. Once again, try to buy seasonal food as much as possible. Check out where the produce comes from and avoid stalls with strawberries or raspberries in winter…


The same goes for fish. Buy sustainable fish to support committed fishermen who love their job and respect the sea.


When you put on your apron, reuse your fruit and vegetable peelings. It’s not complicated, you just need to get used to it. But here again, it’s not just for show – they’re perfect for making sauces, powders or fermented drinks. And fish or meat leftovers are perfect for making nutrient-rich broths.



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Florence Battut’s focus on local and seasonal produce


Seasonal and local produce are key elements in reducing the environmental and ecological impact of our food.


Of course, we all have different values when it comes to local produce. Let’s imagine a restaurant menu based exclusively on produce from France.


What does that mean? It means giving up on many popular products, such as coffee, avocado, many spices, chocolate, bananas, mangoes... If a chef goes all the way with this approach, composing their menu and explaining it to their customers is already a challenge in itself.


Let’s not forget about the other important factors to consider when adopting a sustainable approach: the carbon footprint, production methods, natural resources, water and soil pollution, biodiversity and dietary diversity.


We also need to use the whole produce to reduce waste, and to choose the right containers. All these factors have an impact.


Restaurant Sustainability Trends to Watch in 2024

In my opinion while there are many restaurant sustainability trends to watch out for in 2024, the ones that stand out to him the most are fermentation and cooking sustainably.


Fermenting vegetables makes them last longer. Fermented drinks made from fruit peelings are also very trendy. But I think the real trend is to start cooking sustainably.


Fermenting and pickling vegetables in jars


This is the way we have to go, because it is more than a gastronomic trend: it is a choice for our society. Our resources are running out and time is against us.


For Florence, it’s not just a matter of material trends, but attitude:


"I couldn’t give you a trend for the food and beverage industry, but I can say that the students and chefs I work with have one thing in common: they’re curious.


This curiosity drives them to go one step further. It encourages them to ask questions and explore subjects. And I like to take part in this sharing of knowledge and points of view, to extend the field of possibilities.


For example, when students join my participatory workshops in the garden and get their hands in the soil, they realize how much care and time it takes to cultivate.


This alone restores the value of the herbs from the garden and the flavors that nature has to offer. So I would really like to see a trend towards growing edible gardens everywhere and a commitment to more sustainable and local food."


Breakdown: Key restaurant sustainability trends to watch in 2024


  • Fermentation
  • Sustainable cooking practices
  • Locally sourced ingredients
  • Compostable take-out boxes
  • Unused food donations
  • More plant-based ingredient options
  • Transparent ESG values
  • Renewable energy sources for Kitchens
  • Low-flow water systems


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