What began to be glimpsed as a trend years ago is now an undisputed reality. Sustainability in gastronomy is not an option, but it is already and must be even more one of the pillars that govern a sector that by social significance has become an example. Aware of its importance, Gasma is committed to promoting sustainable gastronomic business models from the classroom. And we do it through the study in different subjects of the Degree in Gastronomy and pioneering projects such as the management of a didactic garden by the students.
The United Nations (UN) defines sustainable gastronomy as cuisine that considers the origin of ingredients, how they are grown and how they reach our markets and finally our dishes. Its importance is such that it plays a strategic role as an engine of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set by the ONY in the 2030 Agenda.
And even more so in a context like the current one. In the face of the health crisis generated by the COVID-19 pandemic, gastronomy, and sustainable restoration, which celebrate seasonal ingredients and products and contribute to the preservation of wildlife and our culinary traditions, become more relevant than ever, they point out from the United Nations.
The example of the haute gastronomy
Haute cuisine has long since picked up the glove thrown by society. Many of the large restaurants use local products, have their own orchard, research the gastronomic applications of species that have so far been under-appreciated or are committed to energy efficiency and to reduce the carbon footprint. Examples in Spain there are many, from Azurmendi, considered to be the most sustainable restaurant in the world, to Aponiente and its defense to the outland of the sea and the environment. From the commitment to the garden of Venta Moncalvillo to the pioneering project of aquaculture and circular economy of Sollo.
The importance of training
The environmental commitment of large restaurants has served as an example and today there are many hotel establishments that are governed by sustainable criteria. However, if there is a key sector to get this bet to all areas of gastronomy is that of training.
Something that both Gasma and CEU Cardenal Herrera University are clear about. That’s why Students of the Degree in Gastronomy not only impulse their cuisine with cutting-edge techniques or acquire the management tools necessary to successfully manage a catering business. They also understand the responsibility that their professional future holds for them and assume that the future of restoration also takes care of the territory and the nearest environments.
his Gasma environmental commitment is based on different areas of action. On the one hand, sustainability is a cross-cutting element in the curriculum of the Degree in Gastronomy. From the first course, they know the value of using local products and learn to get the most out of it from a gastronomic point of view. In addition, during the four years of their training they learn from the experience of some of the chefs and restaurants awarded for their environmental commitment.
Beyond the kitchen, they also know what energy-efficient restaurants should look like. To do this they have specific subjects that teach how to minimize the carbon footprint of a restaurant – reducing energy expenditure and the waste that is generated – also has positive consequences on the business accounts. Sustainability equal to profitability.
In parallel, students of the Degree in Gastronomy work on projects focused on sustainability, such as the management of a didactic garden. They are responsible for growing, caring for and collecting the different vegetables, fruits, herbs and aromatic plants that they will later use as ingredients in their elaborations. In this way, they know the temporality of food and participate in its entire production process, from planting to cooking.
Contact with producers
Gasma is also the center of a gastronomic ecosystem that extends beyond campus. During their training, for example, students come into direct contact with environmental producers who are committed to sustainability: from the aquaculture responsible for Frescamar, a leading company in Spain and the organic cultivation of olive trees and the production of extra virgin olive oil from Bardomus to the work of artisan cheese makers and wineries in the environment.