Food waste fighters class it up at Equinox


Over limoncello made from lemon rinds and soup made from onion peels, the DC Food Recovery Working Group talked food and zero waste at Equinox last month.

As part of the RescueDish initiative, the Working Group spotlights restaurants who proudly showcase their efforts to reduce waste. The kitchen and bar at Equinox, just a stone’s throw from the White House, didn’t disappoint at a recent FRWG happy hour.

Beverage manager Peter Grimm shared the limoncello he makes from lemon peels leftover from juicing. With a sous vide technique, he makes the limoncello in two hours– far faster than the typical 10 to 12 days.

Chef Todd Gray passed out tea cups filled with a soup he made from “extras.” With onion peels, mushroom stems, fennel branches and some chef magic, he created a creamy bisque. Topping it off, of course, was a garnish of crispy asparagus peelings.

The soup got rave reviews. “What’s it called?” people asked.  “Zuppa di Basura,” Gray said with a wink.

Equinox, well known for its vegan Sunday brunch, stopped offering straws last year and eliminated them completely last month. It’s all part of their effort to go zero waste in the next year. Happy hour attendees, ranging from sustainability experts to government staffers to food rescuers, networked and helped Equinox brainstorm more ways to be sustainable.  

Thanks for hosting us, Equinox! We’re staying tuned on your latest in food and sustainability!