If you went looking for cutting edge sustainability, chances are you wouldn't immediately think of starting at 16th and Trafalgar. However, that's where you'll find arguably the most eco-friendly restaurant in the city.
Restaurant garbage (and food waste in general) is a huge problem-a fact that Trafalgars Bistro and Sweet Obsession owners Lorne Tyczenski and Stephen Greenham understand too well.
Long believers in sustainable business, they reckon it's time more of us took direct responsibility for our garbage. As a result, in just four months they've reduced the waste from their bistro and bakery by a staggering 98 per cent.
Their secret is a hard working machine that quietly whirrs away, reducing what used to make up four 2,000pound dumpster loads a week into a mere 350 pounds of rich soil, picked up to be put to good use in an East Hastings community garden.
Their GreenGood GC-50 composter has transformed the way they handle their garbage, so much so that after recyclables, all that's left is a standard household sized bag of garbage per week.
Everything organic, from bones to cooked vegetables and other kitchen waste, is converted to soil in a matter of hours.
While other restaurants work hard to compost efficiently, theirs is the first machine to be installed in a Vancouver restaurant-but not the last, we suspect.
The other good news: Even with hydro costs, the $25,000 machine, which is about the size of a home freezer, should pay for itself in a couple of years.
"It's really a no brainer," says Greenham. "We're taking all of our organic waste and putting it back into the soil, and, in effect, back into the food chain."
All the more reason to head over and check out Trafalgar chef Matthew Villamoran's new menu.
The online world is a wonderful place that affords equal opportunity to the wise and otherwise. Case in point: last week's announcement of the latest Vancouver Zagat Survey results (full disclosure: I'm the local editor).
The big news? Scott and Stephanie Jaeger's Pear Tree restaurant on the Burnaby side of East Hastings attained a near perfect food score (29/30), which propelled them to the top of the culinary charts. Hot on their heels came Le Crocodile, Vij's, Kingyo and Bishop's.
Watching the subsequent Twitter feed, one comment caught our attention: "Le Crocodile and Bishop's are still a thing?"
I was tempted to engage but didn't. As creatures of habit, we all like to think that everyone shares our excellent tastes, so it's easy to be subjective in these matters. But that fleeting snort had me wondering if the tweep in question had even bothered to cross the threshold at either one of what are among a handful of enduring, flagship Vancouver rooms that consistently merit not only local but international acclaim-and thrive rather than merely survive for a reason. It's to the Pear Tree's credit that it was vaulted over the perennial frontrunners-not to mention Vij's and Kingyo, who also scored highly.
Having experienced both in the last year, we can guarantee that John Bishop's local and organic kitchen continues to be at the fore of the sustainable food movement that he instigated. And Michel Jacob's unswerving demand for detail-driven plates and service maintains Le Crocodile's reign as the city's leading French room.
If they didn't rate, something would be truly awry. firstname.lastname@example.org