Interview: Steffen Villadsen, Headchef Molskroen
• According to you, which is the biggest challenge (linked to sustainability) for your restaurant right now?
“I think our biggest challenge is that we are a hotel and have to manage a 360-degree sustainable policy for all of the facets of the business, from housekeeping to breakfast to lunch to reception desk work. It is an enormous task but also very rewarding to find new ways of improving and getting better. I have been looking into our work uniforms for all employees for a more sustainable profile. It has paid off as we from next year will collaborate with” De Forenede Dampvaskerier” on their new line of recycled clothes called” Upcy.” Made entirely of discarded tablecloths and bed linen. All staff will wear it—chefs, waiters, housekeeping, etc.
Another big challenge is the bureaucracy of obtaining new goals. We are a smaller business and making time to do all the paperwork.
This year has been filled with many challenges, and it didn’t leave time left for paperwork. I would love some more government counseling for such tasks. Making it easier for smaller businesses to become greener.”
• What can you get better at?
“Next year, I will take my time to review our sustainability policy and make long-termed plans for our future. We need to move on and push further. My goals for the coming year are:
– Changing staff uniforms for recycled clothes and supporting” De Forenede Dampvaskerier” in their goals to become CO2 neutral and recycling their water supply.
– Applying for the danish organic restaurant stamp (økologimærket) to obtain at least the silver stamp (60-90% organic produce).
– Applying to become an official food supplier. So we can start saving food scraps from organic waste to feed the chicken that delivers eggs for breakfast for our guests.
– Find new ways of cutting back on our use of cling film and garbage bags.
– Cutting out meat entirely as the main ingredient. We will focus on seafood and vegetables.
I think it is my job to set these 3-4 goals a year to keep developing and moving further for a greener future. I will write these goals in my sustainability policy, which is public from our website. Combined with what we already do. And then, in the end of the year, I will sum up and set new goals. To keep my guests and my staff informed of our journey.
• Is it challenging to communicate what you do in the area to your guests? And is it relevant?
“We try to. As mentioned, we have our policy online from our website. And we try to post positive stories on our social media. Especially my friendship and collaboration with farmer Helge Bulow are highlighted. The local produce is extremely relevant. Also, information about sustainable fishing, animal welfare, and so forth is highly appreciated by our guests. It has an immediate value for the guest to know. And I hope that people will seek more knowledge. The new uniforms will have an obvious” Upcy” stamp. And I hope that it will open up more conversation about all our other work. It will be my job to prepare the entire staff to talk about our policies. This greener restaurant movement is still relatively new. As time goes, all of these issues will be more and more valid and appreciated.
That’s why, in my opinion, 360°Eat Guide is the most relevant food guide of our time. And you guys help us with communicating our work. I hope other guides and journalists will recognize that a high-level restaurant should be a role model in the industry.”
• How does the corona pandemic affect your long-term work on sustainability?
“It takes focus away from anything else. But surely, a vaccine must be on its way, and I sincerely hope it has no further impact on our lives.
I will try to stay focused no matter what.”