Federation TAFE works with local distillers to fight food waste

Brendan Carter, Federation TAFE
Federation TAFE baking teacher, Brendan Carter is fighting food waste in partnership with local distiller, Kilderkin Distillery.

Federation TAFE’s bakery department is embracing sustainability by working with local Ballarat business, Kilderkin Distillery, to reduce food waste, utilising botanicals and fruits first used in the distiller’s gin production process to produce a delicious range of artisan baked treats.

Certificate III Baking students have been challenged to think differently about how the spent fruit and Australian botanical by-products including juniper, coriander seed, lemon myrtle, cinnamon myrtle, aniseed myrtle, pepperberry leaf, roast wattleseed, rivermint, and lilly pilly berries, could be given new life.

The result has been an appetising assortment of baked goods including sourdough olive bread with botanicals; apple and oat sourdough with juniper berry, finger lime and blackberries; gin and tonic tarts; ricotta ring cake with lilly pilly and botanicals centre and ricotta ring cake with Kakadu plum and botanicals centre, both drizzled with gin icing.

The student bakers have also used the gin-soaked blackberries and cherries originally used to flavour Kilderkin’s Bramble and Apple Pie Gin Liqueur to create fruit mince and blackberry tarts with juniper berry pastry

The innovative collaboration came about after Federation TAFE baking teacher, Brendan Carter, called in at the local distillery cellar door and invited owners, Chris Pratt and Rebecca Mathews, to work together to ensure no ingredients used in their manufacturing and distilling processes were thrown out and wasted.

“Full credit for initiating this goes to Brendan who asked what we did with our spent botanicals once we have finished distilling with them. His request to use them in the bakery fit in well with our approach of always trying to ensure our resources have at least a second life”, says Chris.

“We have a strong sense of community and welcome opportunities to collaborate especially when it can reduce waste through engaging in sustainable practices. Along with Federation TAFE we also give spent botanicals to a local candle manufacturer while the remainder go to gardeners for compost.”

Reducing food waste isn’t new to Brendan and the Federation TAFE baking department who try to reduce, reuse and recycle ingredients wherever possible.

“Over the years I have utilised wine lees, or dead yeast cells left over after fermentation, and spent grain and sediment left from the fermentation process in beer and ginger beer production, to flavour breads. The TAFE bakery’s own organic and bread waste is also collected each day by a local pig farm to be used as feed.”

Food waste is a significant global issue which has huge implications financially and environmentally. With over a billion tonnes of food wasted each year many countries have resolved to reduce food waste by half by 2030 by rescuing and redistributing food that would otherwise go to waste, and maximising resources. And Federation TAFE is all for it.

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