Sustainable Dining in Vancouver – Forage Restaurant and Craft Beer Market Restaurant – PART II
Serving up a sustainable, energy-efficient and eco-friendly future – a story on green leaders in hospitality: Forage Restaurant and Craftbeermarket Vancouver ; PART II
Oceanwise, 100 mile diet, organic produce and powersmart are just a few sustainable initiatives we see on local dining menus. But are your dining decisions and experiences really impacted by how sustainable and environmentally friendly a restaurant operates? What can the restaurant of the future look like? And how can a food business sustainably improve its bottom line?
PART II: FORAGE RESTAURANT Vancouver: http://www.foragevancouver.com
“Sustainable dining” is Forage’s headline and it truly is. In 2012, the renowned O’Doul’s street-front restaurant space in the Listel Hotel on Robson Street was ready for an upgrade. Partnering with BC Hydro, LiveSmart BC and the Green Table Network , Chef Chris Whittaker and his team developed the “Next Course” program: chronicling their journey making Forage one of the most sustainable restaurants in Vancouver, by design.
When it comes to mitigating the environmental ‘footprint’ of any restaurant, reducing energy consumption is the best place to start. According to Irfan Rehmanji, a technology innovation manager at BC Hydro,the restaurant, food, and entertainment sector in British Columbia represents an estimated 2,700 gigawatt hours of electricity consumption annually. BC Hydro estimates that conservation potential up to one-third of that — this means that if businesses get on board with implementing conservation measures, it could result in enough savings to power up to 81,000 homes. Knowing that equipment and systems typically run 20 hours, seven days a week, the Forage project team set a target of 30% energy savings through boosting efficiency via sourcing state-of-the-art technology. This included energy star appliances and lighting, a roof-top solar hot water system, ultra-efficient HVAC system, induction cooking range.
The interior design team at Evoke Design created an inviting space using eco-friendly materials and products. The millwork featured FSC certified wood used to create the ceilings, walls and banquettes in the dining room and bar. They sourced sustainable-sourced lumber which helps promote a healthy, productive future for local and global forests, as well as low VOC paint Volatile organic compounds and fabrics ensuring a healthy indoor environment and air quality. To reduce water consumption, water-free urinals were installed further saving 100% of the energy usually associated with a traditional flush system.
For Listel Hotel executive chef Chris Whittaker foraging for menu ingredients is essentially a year-round commitment – one that both preserves traditional flavours and promotes the future-forward value of the regional foodshed. Sourcing from ethical and sustainable producers is essential, as is buying local. Some examples are:
- Awardwinning Gelderman farm in the Fraser Valley: pork and blueberries
- Glorious Organics Co-op Aldergrove: salads and vegetables varieties
- Hannah Brook Farm near Maple Ridge: tasty greens
- Oceanwise: ocean-friendly seafood choices
- Chef Whittaker’s roof top garden of course: variety of herbs
Celebrating all things BC, Forage’s menu satisfies the growing number of diners turning to a plant-centric diet, but Chef Whittaker is not one to ignore those whose tastes turn to meatier issues. To make the most of local produce, kitchen staff preserve foods when they are in season, freezing berries for jams and chutneys, and making pickles and other preserves.
“We measure our success by our sustainability and how much food we can forage locally,” says Whittaker. “I think that will reflect to our customers that we have integrity in what we’re doing.”
Bottom Line at glance:
- Energy savings over 30% compared to base model or 120KWH
- 80% of restaurant ingredients sourced from BC
- On demand Exhaust system saving 50% fan and 25% heating/cooling energy
- 100% energy saved compared to typical urinal flush
- 100% water saved compared to typical urinal flush
If you are interested to learn about Forage’s sustainable dining program, please visit http://www.foragevancouver.com/#about.