When dining out, how often do you find yourself considering which elements of the meal were made from recycled materials? The furniture, the lighting fixtures, the cutlery, the glassware, the linen, etc...it begs a lot of questions. Oyster Oyster, the One Starred Michelin restaurant in Washington, D.C., has found a mission in pushing the boundaries of the role of a restaurant in not only its recycling program, but how to sustainably create products for restaurant use in order to cut down on waste. Together with Ruinart, they are reimagining the role of recycling and upcycling in the dining space. Using Ruinart's Champagne bottles in the recycling efforts, and pairing their newly released Ruinart Blanc Singulier Champagne paired to the course in the tasting menu served on the very upcycled dish the Champagne bottles help create is a new meta sure to push the entire industry towards new recycling and upcycling initiatives.
From Oyster Oyster's Instagram: "Over a year ago, we stopped using all single-use beer and cider cans and bottles at the restaurant. But wine bottles remained a luxury we were still set to use. But what happens to that bottle after it's drunk? Does it get recycled? A practice of wishful thinking we could no longer bear. A few months ago, we took a leap and bought a machine that would turn our used wine bottles into sand. The next step was working with our friends at @materialthingsstudio to turn our used wine bottle into plateware and some other great things we have planned on the horizon. This took some trial and error, but through patience and perseverance, we have a successful product to use as a springboard. We are so excited for this charge of creativity to see what else we can continue to upcycle and close the loop more and more. Sustainability goes beyond just the ingredients you buy; it's how you operate as a business as well."
Chef Rob Rubba (2023 James Beard Foundation’s Outstanding Chef, & Food & Wine Magazine's Best New Chefs 2022, Esquire Best New Restaurant 2022) and the esteemed team at the MICHELIN-starred Oyster Oyster, continue to set a bold example of what's achievable in sustainable fine dining kitchens. Their latest initiative raises the bar in building a restaurant industry for the future, one that, as of now, no one in the United States is undertaking.
The groundbreaking project is transforming empty glass wine bottles, including Ruinart Blanc Singulier Champagne into beautiful plates from sand. Crafted by local partner Material Things, these plates will serve as a vessel for a course on the restaurant's tasting menu, featuring a delectable dish of Roasted Carrot with warm spices, Fermented Cabbage, Smoked Tofu, and Dill on a Rye Flatbread.
The course is paired with a glass of the exclusive Ruinart Blanc Singulier Champagne – a newly released cuvée that is expressive of the ever-changing environment experiencing climate change. As an innovative Champagne house with a rich legacy, Maison Ruinart shares a kindred spirit with Oyster Oyster in their commitment to making daily choices that enhance not only the industry but also our planet, each forging new paths in the world of sustainable fine dining. The Maison's dedication to sustainability to far reaching and extends to many elements of wine growing. In collaboration with Reforest'Action, Ruinart planted nearly 25,000 trees and shrubs between 2021 and 2022 in its Taissy Vineyard in Champagne. The Maison also extended its commitments by joining forces with Conservation International, with the aim of helping to protect over 500,000 trees around the world. As a pioneer in the field of sustainable viticulture, over the past 10 years the Maison has reduced its use of chemicals by 40% and has completely stopped using herbicides.