Zoe Reed, creator of the Canteen No 4 supper club, on using bakery surplus as ingredients in a menu

Canteen No 4 is a collaborative supper club that celebrates sustainable ingredients and simple, delicious food. Each pop-up centres around an environmental issue such as sustainable fishing.

The most recent looked at food waste and was a collaboration with my old friends Gail’s, with whom I used to work in their restaurant, Gail’s Kitchen. We worked with Gail’s to utilise surplus/waste food from their central bakery – as well as butchers, fishmongers and cheesemongers – to produce a cocktail and a four-course dinner.

The menu planning was tricky as we were working with scraps and by-products, so it was hard to ensure consistency of quality and volume. It wasn’t until two days before the event that we were sure of what ingredients and volumes we were going to work with. 

For the first course we used the small amount of trim from croissant production to make a take on a pissaladière. The scraps were collected and kept as flat as possible to maintain the lamination. We covered them in stewed onions, glazed them and allowed the dough to prove. We then baked them off in the oven for 20 minutes. They were finished with fresh thyme and a tonnato sauce made with tuna trim.

Gail’s development baker Roz Bado devised the bread served. She took stale bread and folded it back through fresh bread dough in order to produce a new sourdough loaf. It was served with goats’ whey butter, a by-product of goats’ Cheddar production.

For the second course we served a winter panzanella made with jarred plum tomatoes and day-old bread from the bakery. The tomatoes were stewed slowly to make a rich sauce, and the old bread made into breadcrumbs and toasted off. The tomatoes and breadcrumbs were then folded together and seasoned with herbs, smoked anchovies and olive oil.

The third course used whey from Buchanan’s Cheesemonger, Gail’s cheese supplier, and cauliflower leaves left over from the bakeries after the cauliflower florets had been used in salads. We braised lamb belly in the whey and served it with white beans, gremolata and a cauliflower leaf salad.

For the last course, a spent coffee panna cotta, we took Gail’s used coffee grinds and infused them with cold cream overnight. The cream was then strained and the ground coffee used in the amaretti biscuits, made with the surplus egg whites from the first course. We served the panna cotta with crumbled amaretti,  julienne candied orange peel, and an orange and rum syrup.

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