Wandering Kitchen/Barkley’s Bistro

Jamie Compton runs Wandering Kitchen, a catering company that also makes meals to go, with her husband, chef Colin Murray. Using scraps from the catering business to create dog treats, Compton’s parents spun off a side business called Barkley’s Bistro. They sell their freeze-dried organ meats and hickory-smoked beef bones at farmers markets across the country, and at stands at Keg & Case Market and the Mall of America. “This closes the circle because we’re catering for the entire family now,” Compton said.

Wandering Kitchen/Barkley’s Bistro: Keg & Case Market, 928 W. 7th St., St. Paul, and Mall of America, Bloomington. 612-963-4426, wanderingkitchen.com


Cocktail wizard Marco Zappia is attempting to make the bar at Oaxacan restaurant Colita as close to no-waste as possible. He estimates that 80 percent of bar trash comes from citrus used for daily fresh juicing. So he takes the peels and dehydrates them, using some for garnish. The rest sit in a bag with sugar, spices and alcohol for a month, which results in an orange liqueur. That liqueur goes into cocktails, or is turned into vinegar for other uses. One orange goes through four or five iterations before it’s finally tossed.

Colita: 5400 Penn Av. S., Mpls., 612-886-1606, colitampls.com

Birchwood Cafe

The Birchwood Cafe has long been a leader in sustainability. Chef Marshall Paulsen takes strawberries that are about to go bad and turns them into a syrup to flavor homemade soda. Trimmings from the walleye belly become fish sticks on the kids’ menu. And tough broccoli stems are peeled and sliced into medallions. As a largely organic restaurant, there’s an economic as well as environmental benefit to using every bit of food. “It’s an easier sell if you can be altruistic, but it also helps the bottom line,” Paulsen said.

Birchwood Cafe: 3311 E. 25th St., Mpls., 612-722-4474, birchwoodcafe.com

Rise Bagel Co./ Modist Brewing

At the end of the day, many of the unsold bagels from Rise Bagel Co. in Minneapolis’ North Loop are turned into bagel chips. But a few months ago, co-owner Kate Lloyd found another purpose for leftovers at her small-batch bakery: beer. In collaboration with Modist Brewing, about 150 pounds of bagels were dehydrated, ground into a flour and brewed into No Bagel Wasted, a dry and slightly salty lager now on tap. And in the ultimate trade, some of the byproduct from the brewing process will go back to Rise for a spent-grain bagel Lloyd is developing.

Rise Bagels: 530 N. 3rd St., Mpls., 612-354-3349, risebagel.com

Modist Brewing: 505 N. 3rd St., Mpls., 612-454-0258, modistbrewing.com

P.S. Steak

Those candles lighting up the lounge? Those might be made of beef fat. Chef Mike DeCamp is using the byproduct from his steakhouse’s most popular dishes to make his own twinkling lights. The restaurant winds up with about 20 liters of rendered beef fat in a month. Some of the leaner stuff goes into other dishes, but “there’s only so much you can do with beef fat, let’s be honest,” DeCamp said. The challenge of going decorative with it? “We wanted to make sure it didn’t smell like beef.”

P.S. Steak: 510 Groveland Av., Mpls., 612-886-1620, psmpls.com