For a long time now, the term "ZERO WASTE" turned out to be no longer a rarity for the majority of us and was especially introduced to our minds in the last few years, due to increased environmental debates and climate strikes. Whether in everyday life, as a fashion statement, or at a culinary level, an environmentally conscious and at the same time healthy lifestyle is finding more and more followers nowadays. All these people who, through their educated awareness, every day are trying to free our earth from the clutches of plastic waste, all those who are seeking to save endangered species from extinction or to protect the beauty and perfection of a helpless planet. In fact, one could say, that these are the heroes of our time, who, come what may fearlessly face the struggle for a better future.
They forget that this fight has not much in common with sacrifice, with which we immediately associate the word "fighting". No, it is the pure dedication and realization of a connection to something valuable. The savoring of numerous benefits and pleasures that we can derive from our nature if we listen to it and do not take its existence for granted. Our nature, who daily showers us with so many gifts that some do not want to see and accept. All over the world, our "fighters" take on the seriousness of the situation and open new perspectives with regard to the irreplaceable. As a result, new attitudes are emerging, awareness is being raised and the various environmental needs of our countries are finally being addressed.
We already know that increased meat consumption is not only detrimental to our health, but is also causing high levels of CO2 emissions., that the production of a simple pair of jeans consumes incredible amounts of resources, toxic environmental substances and pesticides, the extinction of our forests brings an immense impact on climate change and yes, we also know, that our oceans are suffering. Our oceans are suffering the most. Something we can't see directly into, what doesn't seem as tangible as forest dieback and therefore gets the least attention. A kind of selfishness that spreads threefold over our planet through pollution, overfishing, and warming of the oceans.
Every day we are looking for solutions to make up for our mistakes, to improve our behavior, and to tell our earth in this way "we are sorry ".
One of these solutions is reflected in the principle of ZERO WASTE SEAFOOD in gastronomy.
A new movement, whose level of awareness is still relatively low considering its great benefits. The goal of this movement aims to stop overfishing, to use the many resources that our seas provide us, and to enjoy the fish as a whole. A challenge that only the bravest and the best among the top chefs can meet. On the Croatian Adriatic, the issue of overfishing has been a major problem for a very long time. This is why several first-class restaurateurs across the Croatian Mediterranean, have already made the principles of the ZERO WASTE movement one of their most important tasks. Not only promoting the guiding principle of an environmentally conscious movement but also using it as a ground to let the seeds of their creativity grow to infinity.
But what exactly does this mean?
If you think about it, you will realize that only a few species of fish have been important to consumers. For example, if you mention tuna, lobster, salmon, gilthead seabream, or seafood such as shrimp or oysters, these are familiar to everyone. Of course, as some of us can imagine, this is not even the beginning of the multitude of treasures our oceans offer us.
So why limit yourself to just a few types of fish and endanger them, when there is no limit to the abundance of variations?
Why not get rid of old prejudices and preparing the fish as a whole, using the waste for something grandiose?
How about if you are served meatballs from fish heads and crunchy, exotic chips from fish skin and fish bones as a side dish? Or if I tell you that the otherwise useless shrimp shells are processed into flour, from which pasta is made that will blow your mind.
What if you find yourself eating fishbone chips or aromatic pasta made from fish leftovers, and you're stunned?
These are only a few examples of the abundance of variations that make the previously unimaginable something great and completely turn our previous beliefs upside down. Yes I know, man is a creature of habit, and why risk when you play it safe with a tuna steak or a shrimp risotto. And yes, it also takes some courage, some ability to experiment, and a pinch of motivation to find your way into previously new and unexplored experiences. Though, if you consider that only a spark of will is needed to make a difference, it might even seem a little easier to commit to a step towards a greener future. But just as we like to let ourselves drift with the flow of old habits, we also love when new paths are opened to us and positive surprises cross our roads in case we don't resist them. So let's get involved in the unknown and discover the magic that happens when the most creative minds try to spread a piece of happiness into the world. Certainly, it's an important clue to the question of why some top-class restaurants have embraced the ideology of ZERO WASTE SEAFOOD.
One of the most prestigious masters in this field, whose name not only esteemed importance in Croatia, but also appeals to various stars, such as frontman Bono from U2, Novak Đoković, Prince Harry, or even Beyonce and Jaz-Z, is the famous Croatian top chef Hrvoje Zirojević. While enjoying his exquisite dishes, it is safe to assume that the Zero Waste imperative is paramount and the preparation of these exquisite dishes comes out without reasonless waste - a treat for the eyes, the senses and most importantly, our conscience.
Like Zirojević, many other chefs and restaurateurs have embraced the ZERO WASTE philosophy and shown that waste does not always mean waste. An interesting and progressive new trend, which is increasingly lived on the Croatian Adriatic and causes great attention and reconsideration.
A prime example of this revolution in gastronomy is the FEŠTA DAYS EVENT, which was organized in recent years on the island of Žut (Kornati). The purpose of this event is to show all the possibilities Zero Waste offers us in gastronomy and not to limit ourselves to the usual fish types and preparations when the choice and number of possibilities is actually unlimited. The owner and manager Krešimir Mudronja gathers the best Mediterranean chefs in Croatia, who transform "waste" into true art. Actually, you can also think of visiting this event as a museum, where you get intoxicated by the genius after each new course. And when you reconcile these pleasures, you realize the importance of this theme. Especially in times of climate change, constant environmental pollution and daily new environmental catastrophes, it is worth asking ourselves whether we should not reconsider our beliefs and finally act.
Even if this action requires only a bite of this different and contemporary delightfulness, it sends a clear signal of having opened to something new and welcomes a fresh experience. In fact to be honest, at the sight of these little works of art, it seems like a lightness to engage in it, isn't it?
Author: Annalise Rapo