Sustainable Kitchen – Phase 2

Sustainable Kitchen
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The Egyptian Chefs Association launched phase 2 of “The Sustainable Kitchen” training program in El Gouna, Hurghada. This phase consisted of a Best Practice Sharing Session among all participating hotels and On-Premise training in food sustainable practices at two of the Orascom hotels.

The Sustainable Kitchen training program is a part of the “Sustainable Food on Holiday” concept – an industry project initiated by Futouris. This member-based organization is the sustainability initiative of the German-speaking tourism industry. Their members are committed to the improvement of living conditions, the conservation of biological diversity plus environment and climate protection.

Sustainable Kitchen

Cheese Slicing Station at Steigenberger Golf Resort

Egypt is a popular tourist destination for the German-speaking tourism industry. Research indicated that more than 55% of German package holiday travellers strongly agreed that travel companies should not only meet but exceed ecological and social standards, even if this meant an increase in prices. For this reason, Futouris approached the Egyptian Chefs Association to develop the Sustainable Kitchen training package for the Egyptian tourism market. This package will be used to qualify all important hotel employees in sustainable food practices and in the science of sustainable nutrition. The project is supported by QTA – Quality Travel Alliance, GIZ Responsible and Inclusive Business Hub MENA on behalf of the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and Orascom Hotel Management.

The Sustainable Kitchen Best Practice Sharing session held this July was a follow-up session of the Sustainable Kitchen training workshop – foundation level – that took place last February. Both were kindly hosted by the Steigenberger Golf Resort in El Gouna. Hotels participating in the program were asked to share with other participants their best examples of actions that are in line with sustainable food practices. These could include news about seasonal and Egyptian food promotions, ideas about recycling systems, suggestions as to food waste reduction schemes or anecdotes about growing vegetables and herbs on the hotel premises. By sharing their best practices with the entire assembly the more than 35 key position holders of the hotel industry in attendance learned from each other. Sabine Gnyp, a representative of QTA, one of the project partners, was attending the session so as to update Germany on the progress made by the participating hotels. A list of the Best Practices in Food Sustainability was drawn up during the session and shared by all. The ECA also launched a Sustainable Kitchen What’s App group which will allow all participants to continue sharing their best practices.

Sustainable Kitchen

Portioned Salads at Labranda Club Paradisio

The on-premises sessions took place at the Steigenberger Golf Resort and the Labranda Club Paradisio; both hotels which are located in El Gouna received two days intensive training in the implementation of their food sustainable practices. The on-premises program consisted of an in depth training session on food waste reduction, on internal communication (among staff members) and on external communication (with guests) of sustainable food practices as well as on how to implement sustainable food strategies across the board of a hotel operation. The program further consisted of assessing a hotel’s sustainable food practices which included purchasing, food preparation, menus and buffet presentation and waste control. Custom tailored recommendations were given for possible improvements at each hotel. And just as happened last February, with the Sustainable Kitchen training workshop – foundation level, the ECA had selected three trainers, who brought a combination of professional experience and expertise of different kinds to enhance the performance of the participating hotels.

Steigenberger Golf ResortThe Egyptian Chefs Association wishes to thank Steigenberger Golf Resort for their excellent hospitality. The Association also wishes to thank ECA Founder & Honorary President, Chef Markus Iten and ECA Board Member and Food Business Entrepreneur Ramy Hassan as well as the Association’s Executive Director Mirjam van IJssel for conducting the training.

List of Sustainable Kitchen Best Practices Shared

Sustainable Kitchen

On Premise Training at Labranda Club Paradisio

Below is a list of best practices implemented by the participating hotels in the Sustainable Kitchen project.

  • Adjust menus to reduce use of meat, water intensive items, and food imports.
  • Introduce diet and light foods on menu.
  • Start herb and vegetables gardens on hotel premises; some are located in the guest areas so that guests are aware of the homegrown produce.
  • Use vegetable and fruit trim offs to make pickles and dried food items.
  • Use local fish from El Quseir rather than imported fish.
  • Introduce homemade marmalades, jams, flavored oils and spices.
  • Use the dates produced by palm trees in the hotel grounds in food items served to guests.
  • Replace imported products with local products.
  • Use more local turkey and duck in food offerings rather than beef and lamb.
  • Introduce more a la minute live cooking stations at buffets.
  • Add signage to the buffet to communicate food sustainable practices to the guests.
  • Prepare foods not long in advance but nearer to the time the buffet opens so as to ensure freshness and reduce use of hotbox.
  • Start a campaign “Take what you want, but eat what you take” on the buffet.
  • Transfer knowledge on sustainable food practices to our staff so they communicate these to the guests and thus increase guest satisfaction.
  • Start campaign “no garbage, clean up” at the mangrove areas.
  • Increase outdoor events for guests to reduce in house use of energy (ACs)
  • Introduce LED lights.
  • Introduce an AC schedule and install split unit systems rather than the use of central AC system.
  • Fill dishwasher up to capacity and don’t let it operate with only half a load.
  • Offer more local and authentic Egyptian foods and open Egyptian food outlets at the hotel.
  • Make more checks when receiving goods and refuse those that are not in a good state.
  • Introduce “compose your own salad” at buffets.
  • Circulate waste water to water the garden areas.
  • Communicate daily reports on water and electricity usage to the staff.
  • Give guests the option to be served a buffet selection plated in a la carte style, rather than the guests serving themselves, this allows more control on portion sizes served.
  • Reduce the refill portions at the buffet an hour before closure of the buffet.
  • Introduce more vegetarian dishes at buffet and on menus.
  • Organize a candlelight dinner one day a week.
  • Organize guest cocktail receptions in the kitchen (guests wear a chef’s jacket and join the kitchen to learn about Egyptian foods).
  • Introduce control sheets to measure yield and waste of foods.
  • Organize seasonal festivals.
  • Use clay tagines for service at buffet rather than stainless steel chafing dishes that need heat source to keep foods warm.
  • Introduce a system for portion control management.
  • Better management and control of market list to avoid over purchasing and food wastage, and to ensure faster stock turnover.
  • Communicate with team members to change their mindset towards a food sustainable culture in the operation.

How much water is needed to produce food?

The table below shows some typical values for the volume of water required to produce common foodstuffs.

Food Item Water Needed in Liters
1 kg Chocolate 17,196
1 kg Beef 15,415
1 kg Chicken 4,325
1 kg Rice 2,497
1 kg Pasta 1,849
1 kg Potatoes 287
1 kg Bananas 790
1 kg Cabbage 237
1 kg Tomatoes 214

For the complete original table published by the Guardian visit:

Sustainable Kitchen Practical Session 2017

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