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Research Chefs “ReThink Waste” Through Student Culinary Competitions

Creating the future of food through innovation and transforming wasted byproducts into flavorful ingredients

Photo of Philip Saneski
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My name is Philip Saneski and I am a volunteer member of the Research Chefs Association (RCA), the leading community for food industry research and development professionals. Through my involvement, I am fortunate to be the President and Co-Founder of the newly-created RCA Student Committee, a position that allows me to sit on the RCA Board of Directors. In addition to being the first student to sit on the Board, I am the first student in the RCA's 20 year history to receive the coveted President's Award. It is an award that has allowed the Student Committee to extend our reach and establish a commit to providing innovative solutions to one of the most important issues of the century: food waste.

Our Student Committee’s biggest objective is our "ReThink Waste Initiative," a student food waste reduction project centered around launching a product development competition using ingredients considered to be food waste at the March 2017 RCA Conference. This competition is truly unique in that it is the first and only product development competition based around "wasted" food ingredients. Student teams will be challenged to utilize a common food waste ingredient and formulate a commercialized product or meal that can be marketed by a restaurant, food company or grocery chain. Ultimately, students who are able to succeed in this competition will find themselves as perfect candidates for companies looking for new graduates who can approach global problems with novel solutions.

To promote our ReThink Waste Initiative product development competition, we are currently organizing the ReThink Waste Food Challenge, a culinary “chopped” competition where students will cook dishes with common waste byproducts found in food processing. Expected to take place in Los Angeles on November 19, 2016, this culinary event will showcase methods of transforming food waste into delicious plates for a panel of highly technical expert judges. This also furthers our RCA Student Committee mission to bring forth effective change and reduce wastage within all types of food operations, large and small.

Our ReThink Waste Initiative is a progressive step towards dramatically reducing food waste found throughout the product development process. These competitions will challenge future food scientists, R&D chefs and culinary leaders to transform our relationship with food by utilizing waste in a more efficient and productive manner. This is a platform of ingenuity for students and professionals alike to discuss solutions on how to approach an overwhelming issue. We want to cross promote and partner with businesses, nonprofits, sponsors, foundations and government leaders who are similarly committed to reducing food waste. The demand for food waste solutions is great and the Research Chefs Association Student Committee can supply the industry’s needs through our ReThink Waste Initiative.

What is a provocation or insight that might inspire others during this challenge?

For competition updates and more Research Chefs Association Student Committee information, check out our student blog

Tell us about your work experience:

Fine-dining line cook and pastry chef. Future R&D Chef and Culinary Scientist. Research Chefs Association Student Committee President and Co-Founder. Fascinated by future food.

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Photo of Matthew Ridenour

Very cool – great share Philip Saneski !

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