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5 Questions with Chef Jet Tila

1. As a chef, we know you’re very conscious of food waste. What’s your take on all the attention food waste is getting lately?

We’ve been eating nose-to-tail for 20 years now, using every part of the animal, so we created something called root-to-stem as part of our Vegetable Revolution, or Veg Rev.  The days of peeled carrots are over and now we’re roasting carrots with the peel on.  We are inspiring chefs to use it all - traditional tops of carrots, greens, turnips and broccoli trimmings.  Vegetables are the place to teach our culinarians to reduce waste and where we can really make an impact! 

2. What are your best tips to reduce food waste in the home kitchen?

Start with the obvious dishes.  Carrots and cauliflower are quintessential dishes for the Veg Rev.  Stop peeling your carrots, instead give a nice rinse and wash, then roast them.  Get creative and find recipes that fully utilize vegetables.  Plus composting and recycling – they all tie together. 

3. What changes have you made personally to be more mindful? 

We don’t’ waste anything in the Tila house.  We’re cutting fruit and composting what we can.  If the cut fruit sits for 2-3 days and it looks like we’re not getting to it, we stick it in the freezer to become smoothies.  Same with Kale and broccoli – we throw it into the freezer.  Everything becomes smoothies at the end of the week.  It’s a mindset of how can we stay creative with food and really reduce waste. 

4. What advice would you give to someone who wants to make a difference in the amount of food that they waste, but doesn’t know where to begin? 

If you have something that’s not going to last – throw it in the freezer.  Between composting, freezing, and utilization we can all make a big difference.

5. Favorite way to use up leftovers?

We build up the freezer for breakfast smoothies.  On the weekend omelets and frittatas are always a way we use up extras, and fried rice.  Between these 3 dishes we have no waste.  In our house, you are using everything all the time.

That’s the Tila way.