©220 by Zero-Waste Providence. 

Chez Pascal

House-made from the farm and the garden

Many people will tell you that Chez Pascal was already well known in Providence before Kristin and Matthew Gennuso arrived in 2003. But when they came, they brought with them a passion for sustainability and collaboration with their industry peers. 

 

For over 15 years, Chez Pascal has been composting their food scraps, working with local experts and facilities on finding the perfect solution for their business. Today, their vegetable scraps get picked up by Rhodeside Revival, an energetic company that grew out of a “compost club” at the University of Rhode Island. 

 

No one knows better than Kristin about the abundance of choice we have today when it comes to local produce and compost haulers. In the early days, there were only two local farms that they could find, and the spectacular Hope Street farmer’s market as we know it was just a little gathering in a parking lot. Kristin and Matthew have seen the changes as the food and restaurant community continues to move towards a more sustainable model and become more aware of their impact on our environment.

 

Of course, being sustainable isn’t without its challenges. Over the years, the restaurant has persevered through questions of allocating space, finding haulers, educating its staff, and preventing issues of odor and leakage. But when pressed on why they continue to make the effort, the answer was simple: “it makes sense, and it’s the right thing to do.” Thanks to their commitment and effort, thousands of pounds of vegetable matter have been diverted from their dumpsters, as well as our landfills, 

 

More recently, Chez Pascal has expanded their sustainability endeavors with the opening of the rooftop vegetable garden. The relish and pickles made from their homegrown cucumbers are the perfect accompaniment to the sausages and hot dogs from the Wurst Kitchen, their lunchtime specialty kitchen. 

 

We asked Kristin, what advice she would give to restaurant owners who want to compost? She said, “set aside some time to figure it out. Time is the hardest thing to come by as a small business owner, but there are some really great, passionate people out there eager to help small businesses take the next step. Composting is something that one needs to be educated on.  If not done properly, the good you are trying to do will just make you frustrated and want to give up.  Utilize the resources this state has to offer, and the grass roots organizations poised for assistance.  Reach out to other business and understand the challenges and benefits. It is very exciting to see the movement growing and to be a part of it at the ground level.”

Street view of Chez Pascal | image from chezpascal.com

Bird’s-eye view of the roof top garden and staff | image from chez pascal 

Food offerings at the restaurant | image from Chez Pascal facebook page

Food offerings at the restaurant | image from Chez Pascal facebook page

Harvesting on the roof top  | image from Chez Pascal facebook page

Harvested roof top greens  | image from Chez Pascal facebook page