One of TV’s most eccentric chefs is taking his commitment to greening his restaurants to a whole new level.
- Batali’s new “Meatless Monday” proponent is now featuring specially created plant-based entrée items in all of his 14 countrywide restaurants, explaining that, “Most people in the U.S. eat way more meat than is good for them or the planet,” but since converting an entire nation over toward full-time vegetarianism is challenging, one positive planetary step we can all take is to “focus on a more plant-based diet and support the farmers who raise their animals humanely and sustainably.”
- Restaurant grease from Batali’s Osteria Mozza in Los Angeles is donated to two artisans from Further Products, who refine and transform it into essential oil-scented candles, liquid hand soap and lotion.
- Bottled water is no longer offered in Batali’s restaurants — the production of the plastic and shipping of the final product both consume vast environmental resources and, despite being easily recyclable, 2.5 million PET empties are discarded every hour across the United States. Instead, they are using in-house triple-carbon-filtered NATURA water systems for an entirely waste-free option.
- The chef is working with the Green Restaurant Association to certify all of his restaurants, meaning that his establishments will adhere to more eco-friendly practices across the board, including the installation of water-efficient faucets, implementation of composting/recycling/kitchen grease reclamation programs, banning Styrofoam takeout containers, stocking restaurant paper supplies and stationery that are free of chlorine and made of 100% recycled content, using Xlerator hand dryers rather than disposable towels in bathrooms, using Energy Star appliances and establishing personal relationships with local farmers to ensure sustainable supply of food, among other eco-friendly efforts.
- A 12-foot edible vertical garden wall was installed at Batali’s Osteria Mozza/Pizzeria Mozza location, courtesy of Greenscaped Buildings, seeded with cabbage plants, various types of lettuce and herbs like mint, rosemary, parsley and sage. The Batali group was so pleased with the results that they’ve given the thumbs-up to place a second installation at one of their Las Vegas restaurants, with the strong possibility that their remaining restaurants will follow suit.