Masterchef Monday with Radu Iliescu
Why do you think people waste so much food?
I think people waste so much food because of globalization. These days you can find anything at any time. Everything is processed, contains MSG and so on. You can buy anything you want, already prepared, you just need to microwave it. People take what they need and throw the rest away. They are always in a hurry so there is no time to go to a vegetable market and cook a real meal. Instead they buy frozen/processed food which is also a lot cheaper than buying fresh vegetables.
Look at fast food chains, you can buy a menu for 5 euro. How can you compete with that? People have forgotten how things were before, how our grandparents and older generations lived, how much they valued products and the old traditions of cooking, of preserving products and of having an pantry.
Then there are also the big chains of supermarkets, that only sell vegetables that look that they were made in line in a factory. They prefer products to look the same, have the same weight and color. We still have a long way to go when it comes to food waste.
What is your food philosophy?
My food philosophy is quite simple. I only work with local products. I want to showcase the terroir and focus mainly on vegetables. We forgot a lot of things that older generations used to do on a daily basis, such as foraging or cooking with fire. I try to be as sustainable as possible and waste as little products, water or energy as possible.
Why did you decide to work together with Eatmosphere?
Eatmosphere promotes a lot of the values that I believe in and makes people aware about food waste and a more plant-based diet. I’m always interested to get involved in projects that help fight food waste and source waste solutions to to make the world a more sustainable place.
What did you serve at the event?
The concept was about only using local products, creating a waste free vegetarian menu. Each dish was focused on a single vegetable while trying to enhance the taste of that vegetable. Most dishes had different elements of the vegetable, showing the variety in which we can use the product in a creative and tasty way. For the dessert for example, I used pine cones to make a syrup. Usually the cones are not used for cooking.
Thank you Radu Iliescu!
• 100 gr fermented barley (see below)
• 200 gr potato
• 400 ml filtered water, water temperature
• 1 whole apple, cut in pieces (leave the skin on)
• 4 cloves of garlic whole
• 10 gr fine salt
To ferment the barley
Boil the barley in water, leave it to dry on a tray in the fridge overnight. Afterwards transfer to a jar and close with a cloth on top. Keep at room temperature for 1 week and keep it protected from the sun.
Wash the potato peels and lightly roast them so they’re dry and get a bit of aroma.
Melt the salt with the water, add the apple, garlic and peels in a jar with a lid.
Keep the jar for 2 weeks at a temperature of 42 C°, protected from the sun. After 2 weeks, take it out and mix until smooth with the barley. Make sure it’s 37 C°.
Put the mixture back in the jar and keep it at room temperature in the shadows for 3 days. After that you can move it to the fridge.