Carren's Pitch

Life by Design

I try to be good environmentally, but the one place where I have no control is in restaurants. Thankfully, there are those like Elizabeth, who make sure even our dining experience is as green as the business allows. With people like her, my conscience can rest a little more at ease on Friday night outs.


How Elizabeth Meltz is using technology to turn Batali hotspots like Babbo into some of the restaurant biz's most eco-friendly eateries

Text by: Carren Jao
Edited by: Rob Brunner
Published: 26 June 2014, Fast Company

When you eat at Babbo, Del Posto, or any of Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich’s other celebrated restaurants, you can be sure that every aspect of the pasta and wine have been carefully considered. What you might not realize is that your meal’s environmental impact has been just as closely thought through.

That’s thanks to Elizabeth Meltz, director of food safety and sustainability for Batali & Bastianich Hospitality Group (B&BHG), who oversees green- and food-safety initiatives across more than two dozen restaurants in the United States. In the past five years, Meltz has guided all of B&BHG’s eateries through green restaurant certification. She’s also introduced a no-bottled-water policy, created full-scale recycling and composting programs, and started participating in Meatless Mondays with extra vegetable specials.

Meltz’s concerns can swing wildly from determining which Green Seal-certified chemical to use for cleaning grease-caked pots and pans to analyzing the feasibility of using new machines that rapidly decompose organic food waste into a liquid form. “Once you start peeling back the layers of the onion," she says, "you have no idea the details and the minutia that you get into.” [read more]


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