On sites like MyFridgeFood and Supercook, you enter the ingredients you’ve got at home and up pop recipes. But now, that concept’s got a new twist: a cooking show that teaches you how to turn actual food scraps into gourmet dishes.
Television network FYI has partnered with Sur La Table to produce the new culinary series “SCRAPS,” which follows national Sur La Table Chef Joel Gamoran around the United States in his 1963 Volkswagen bus (which doubles as a mobile kitchen) as he makes culinary history turning food waste and scraps into delicacies. The series began airing in May.
In each stop on his 10 city tour, Gamoran teams up with food-waste experts to create cuisines that fit into the local culture with items like banana peels, broccoli stems, pickle juice, stale bread, and cocoa husks. Gamoran has less than 24 hours to create a menu, source all his ingredients, and prepare the meal for an outdoor dinner party.
The setup and delivery is befitting for Sur La Table, a single retail store founded in 1972 at Seattle’s famed Pike Place Market, that has now grown to more than 100 stores across America. The chain now offers cooking classes, a huge selection of culinary equipment and tools, and of course, various foods from cheeses to jams.
The twist, of course, capitalizes on a growing concern about food waste in the United States and across the world. Estimates suggest a third of all food produced in the world goes to waste. Shows like “SCRAPS” seek to inspire people to turn numbers like that around.
As companions to the episodes, you can go online to buy a tutorial for cooking every dish on the show. Coined “Scraps Online Cooking Classes,” each step-by-step guide costs $9.95 and includes a video guide to cooking four dishes, suitable for any skill level. You can also head over to the show’s blog, where recipes are posted regularly for things like Juice Pulp Veggie Burgers, Chickpea Chocolate Mousse, and Brown Banana Skillet Bread.
For recipes like the veggie burgers that have long ingredients lists, there are lots of potential replacements you can make with the food scraps you find in your own kitchen. For example, while the recipe calls for beets, tomatoes, and carrots, any root vegetables would do, and you’d still end up with delicious results. That’s part of the charm of “Scraps”—the meals look delicious, and the ingredients they rely on are part of a full ingredients list that allows for a little improvisation depending on what your own leftovers are looking like.