Weddings are big business.
But behind the scenes across Ireland, bustling kitchens hide a shocking amount of food waste – and one creative Cork caterer has come up with a solution.
Currently, one-third of all food produced globally – 1.3 billion tonnes – ends up in landfill.
Through her high-end event catering business, Orla McAndrew Food, award-winning Cork chef Orla McAndrew is now offering sustainably-conscious couples across the country the chance to opt for a five-star zero waste wedding meal on their big day, with every bite created using rescued surplus produce.
Fuelled by her own passion for sustainability, the Blarney-based mother-of-three has long been creating seasonally-driven menus showcasing the country’s best artisan producers, using calculated portioning, growing her own produce, fermenting, pickling, and composting.
Over the last three years, Orla has laid the groundwork for her latest offering; a five-star wedding experience with a difference; one that saves perfectly good surplus food from landfill.
How does it work?
Rather than selecting their wedding menu months in advance, conscientious newlyweds instead put their complete trust in Orla and her team to create show-stopping surplus feasts that will only be revealed to them and their guests the week of their wedding.
A number of high-profile suppliers and artisan producers have already bought into Orla’s new concept, including Cork Rooftop Farm, Waterfall Farms, Michael Twomey Butchers in Macroom, and Horgan’s Delicatessen in Mitchelstown.
Orla guarantees that all of the zero waste menus she creates for weddings, family celebrations, and corporate events, will be prepared using a minimum of 80 percent surplus produce.
The remainder will be supplemented by dry ingredients and store cupboard staples with long shelf lives. By weight, she estimates that the average three-course zero waste wedding meal for 150 guests will save as much as 225kg of surplus food from ending up in landfill.
“As an advocate for sustainable practices and positive change, launching something that will help save hundreds of kilos of perfectly wonderful Irish produce from ending up in landfill, without ever compromising on quality or taste, is a complete no-brainer for me,” Orla told us.
The five-star Zero Waste Wedding Menu packages are available for parties of 90+ guests within Munster, and 140+ guests across the country, with no maximum limit, and all special dietary requirements catered for.
Orla will make a five percent donation to her charity partner, The Peter McVerry Trust, on behalf of every couple that books one of her Zero Waste Wedding packages too.
Sustainably-conscious couples and forward-thinking clients can find out more by visiting omcatering.ie, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or by calling 087 709 0946.