Chef/owner Michael Cimarusti is known for his sustainability-centric efforts at Providence, a seafood-centric, fine-dining restaurant in Los Angeles. Providence head bartender Kim Stodel continues the restaurant’s sustainable ethos in the beverage program with “zero-waste” cocktails.
A native of South Africa, Stodel takes a flexible, economical approach to crafting each drink and following the micro-seasonality of the kitchen. He joined Providence two years ago and has adopted Cimarusti’s conservationist mindset.
Stodel ensures that each component of his cocktails is used to its full potential. Going beyond the “scrap” cocktail trend from last year, he is giving leftover ingredients a second—and even third—life via innovative infusions and garnishes.
This involves using scraps and waste whenever he can rather than going out of his way to purchase new ingredients. Stodel also tries to find multiple uses for each ingredient in the drinks.
Here are a few examples of some of the zero-waste cocktails at Providence.
NOTIFY THE MAYOR!
(Mell vodka, California aperitif Jardesca, espelette pepper, celeriac lime cordial). Stodel makes a lime cordial by concocting a syrup with lime juice and zest, as well as celery root scraps from the kitchen (second life for the celery root). The garnish is made from pickled celery root, which has been marinated in the lime cordial (third life for the celery root).
MANO DE CHANGO
(Angelisco blanco tequila, Pierre Ferrand curaçao, guava, lime, grapefruit). A hybrid of a Margarita and a Paloma, the Mano de Chango incorporates a house-made guava syrup. Stodel then repurposes the guava pulp from the syrup to create a fruit leather garnish by blending, straining and dehydrating the pulp.
(Selvarey rum, lemongrass, kaffir lime, ginger, orgeat, serrano chile, lime). A Thai-inspired take on a classic Mai Tai with flavors reminiscent of a Tom Kha curry. Stodel makes a rum infusion in a cryo bag from lemongrass, ginger, and kaffir lime leftover from the kitchen. He uses the remaining ingredients from the infusion to create a fruit leather-like garnish by dehydrating them overnight. The cocktail is also served with an uncultivated rye straw from LA-based Weiser Farms, which is 100% natural and biodegradable.
PEAS AND THANK YOU (shown at top)
(Nuestra Soledad mezcal, Bonal, lemon, pea tendril, mint). Stodel turns pea tendril scraps into a vibrant green pea oil, which oats atop the cocktail.