There’s an aquaponic greenhouse at The Perennial filled with fish feasting on food scrap-stuffed larvae. This is not a drill. Inside the San Francisco restaurant, the chef butchers the meat of animals that once grazed on compost-treated perennial grasses. Crusty country loaves are baked with perennial kernza grains. Everything imaginable, from the ice cubes at the bar to ventilation hoods in the kitchen, is tricked out with every environmentally friendly bell and whistle. No detail is overlooked, down to the rug made from recycled fishing nets and marine trash. This might just be the most sustainable restaurant in America.
But it’s all still new to owners, Mission Chinese Food and Commonwealth restaurateurs Karen Leibowitz and Anthony Myint, who used to combat climate change like most of try to: by eating responsibly grown food and recycling. Or at least they did until they had a baby and were confronted with a question they just couldn’t shake. “What kind of world will we be leaving to our child?” remembered Leibowitz.
Philanthropy had always a big part of their restaurants, but they wanted to go beyond giving money this time and actually begin changing operating practices. The …read more