With a tray full of zucchinis and summer squash tucked under one of his heavily tattooed arms, it’s obvious chef Matt Stone is as connected to the harvest from the Oakridge kitchen garden as he is to the kitchen itself. This progressive chef is a strong advocate of low-waste cooking; he thinks creatively and sensibly when it comes to produce and how we use it.

“There isn’t a lot of a vegetable that you can’t eat, so be smart,” says Stone. “If you’re peeling potatoes for mash, for example, you can save the skin and fry it for chips to have with your steak the next night. I always say that waste is a lack of imagination, so thinking about what you can do with other bits and pieces is really important,” he says.

Stone also has a kitchen hack for cooking fish. “For an oily fish, a great tip is to start in a cold, non-stick pan with the skin side down,” he says. Stone recommends getting your pan to a medium heat; as the temperature rises the oils will render out and start cooking. If it’s too hot, the fat will just burn. “Then seal the fish off and put it in the oven.” That final step finishes it off. This slower, gradual method will avoid burning the fish before it gets a chance to cook through.

Here are some further tips for you from the chef to keep your cooking and eating as ethical and waste-free as possible. For even more of them you can join Matt Stone for his masterclass and dining experience.

Invest in quality
When it comes to meat, fish and poultry, Stone encourages cooks to consume less but spend more in order to eat well. “Go to a really good butcher, spend 20 bucks on a steak that’s ethical and is going to taste better. Eat it once a week rather than buying three average steaks and eating it three times a week,” he says.

Eat more-ethical meat
Stone thinks beyond traditional beef, pork or chicken options and often takes a more ethical route when it comes to meat. “Kangaroo, in my opinion, is the most sustainable meat we can eat in Australia,” he says. It’s estimated there are twice as many kangaroos in Australia than there are people. “They’re in the wild, they’re not taking up agricultural land and they’re light footed.” Stone says many native grasses and seeds in pastures suffer from the effects of heavy-hoofed livestock. “And kangaroo tastes good! It’s by far something we should be consuming a lot more of,” he says.

Get yourself some good kit
Investing in long-lasting kitchen tools is essential and can also mean less waste. “Splash out and buy a $100 sauté pan instead of buying a $30 one every two years,” says Stone. “If you’re going to roast a chicken breast in a pan and it’s thin or the non-stick coating is gone, it’s frustrating, but if you have a beautiful non-stick pan, it’s easy.”

Adding quality storage to your set-up also makes for an efficient and streamlined kitchen. “One of the best things you can do is have appropriate storage containers. If you’re organised with jars and sealable containers, your food stores better and it lasts longer,” says Matt.

Get it together
Busy kitchens like the one at Oakridge Wines can be high-pressure. To avoid getting flustered Matt and his team keep the phrase “mise en place” top of mind. It means “everything in its place” in French and is an essential part of cooking. “If the recipe calls for two bowls, a chopping board, a knife, a peeler, a large pot and a sauté pan, get it out and get it ready. Set yourself up to win so you’re not struggling through cupboards trying to get something while something else is burning,” says Stone. “It creates anxiety, especially if you’re not a confident cook. Getting everything in its place ready to go is probably the best tip."

“People’s mood when cooking is really reflected in the food and the experience that your guests have.”

Matt Stone Masterclasses





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This article is produced by Broadsheet in partnership with Miele. You can learn the art of sustainable cooking with Matt Stone and Miele at an all-inclusive masterclass and dining experience. Discover how to create simple, artistic and delicious dishes with pure, whole-food ingredients while using Matt’s low-waste cooking methods. Book tickets.