Like so many others in the restaurant industry, Camilla Marcus felt the stress of the pandemic after shuttering her business, which was the first certified zero-waste restaurant in New York City. Today she’s carrying forth its name, West~Borne, with a new venture focused on zero-waste, plant-based provisions.
Marcus’s line of nourishing snacks, spices, and pantry staples echoes the values of mindfulness and sustainability that informed her upbringing in Los Angeles. We spoke with Marcus about West~Borne, and the choices she’s making in her kitchen at home.
"I like to do a little thing I call ‘playing jazz in the kitchen.’ Part zero-waste, part creativity—this is when I take any and all leftovers or edible food scraps (think broccoli stems) to make a meal melody. Usually, I make these in my donabe, which I also love to use when making rice. Perfect every time."
"Composting can feel a little overwhelming for anyone who’s just getting started. I’ve found that a simple bin makes it easy to store food scraps and West~Bourne pouches (yes, they’re compostable). Little steps make big change."
"I do my best to shop vintage as much as possible when it comes to my home, and I’m a huge fan of searching for vintage wood for my kitchen. Whether you’re shopping at a market, a store, or online, search and curate as many vintage wooden boards, spoons, rolling pins, and bowls as you can find. They’re priceless."
"Diversifying your pantry is one of the best ways home cooks can help drive biodiverse farming. My philosophy is that small steps can create a big change—and in the kitchen, cooking oil is such a great place to start. Avocado oil has the one of the highest smoke points of all plant-based oils, and it’s such a simple switch from animal-derived fats."
"Part of living sustainably is storing leftover ingredients effectively. I love these glass jars for keeping sauces, soups, veggies and more. They’re also perfect for preserving citrus and/or pickling."
"After I eliminated single-use paper products, these became a staple in my home. They’re durable, washable, and perfect for any mess."
"This is the pot that gets better with time. Perfect for just about any meal, a Staub dutch oven is a prime example that quality is better than quantity."
"A microplane is one of my can’t-live-without kitchen gadgets."
"There’s nothing cozier and more comforting than the smell of an open fire. I stock up on these candles—they’re my favorite way to set the mood when cooking or dining as a family."
"I’m currently pregnant with bebe number three, so I’ve swapped my usual go-to glass (or two) of wine—for the creative process—to my all-time favorite nonalcoholic beverage, Ghia. Made from plants, Ghia gives me all of the energy with zero booze."
"I always start cooking by setting the mood with the perfect playlist. Generally it’s a jazz or hip-hop record, but whatever is playing sets the tone for the meal I’m making—and the shared experience we get to have around the table."
"Revamp your pantry with our sustainably sourced spices. These home cooking essentials in reusable, recycled-glass jars will inspire you to unlock the supernatural power of vegetables."
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