In London, a consortium of the world's best chefs is serving a lavish meal, and it's made entirely of food waste. The event, spearheaded by luminary Dan Barber, is the latest incarnation of wastED, a dining series launched in 2015 at the chef's New York City restaurants Blue Hill. Running through April 2 from the rooftop dining space atop the storied Selfridge's department store, wastED features an evolving menu of cuisine made from the scrap produce and spare animal parts gathered by farmers and markets. Barber's high-end transformation of edible refuse shines a light on the burgeoning problem of global food waste. The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that one-third of food produced across the planet goes uneaten, amounting to nearly $990 billion in losses.
This year's event uses its host city as culinary inspiration, offering playful interpretations of British classics like bubble and squeak and fish and chips prepared by the continent's most progressive chefs. "It's all very exciting," Barber told Bloomberg. "To put together a menu in a different city is to be forced to learn about its history and its agricultural realities. And the food scene in London is very vibrant." Iain Griffiths of Mr. Lyan offers his spin on sustainable cocktails while Henrietta Lovell of Rare Tea Company partners with pastry chefs to compose a nontraditional tea service. "What I like about London is the openness to these ideas. The culture around food waste is fantastic—way ahead of America's."