Five-Course Menu Calls Attention to Sustainability Issues, “Trash Cooking” Concept by Showcasing Dishes Featuring Usually Overlooked, Often Discarded Offcuts and Outcasts

Royal Dinette Chef/Owner David Gunawan’s waste-not, want-not culinary values come into focus this fall with a duo of Ugly Duckling Dinners on Oct. 20 and Nov. 24 that will feature underutilized, often disposed scraps and offcuts.

Already one of Vancouver’s thought leaders in locally sourced and sustainably procured farm-to-table cuisine thanks to his award-winning restaurant Farmer’s Apprentice and natural wine bar Grapes & Soda, Gunawan now turns his attention to highlighting sustainability and food-waste awareness where the “ugly ducklings” of the culinary world will take centre stage on each plate.

“There’s a certain playful tone and dichotomy to the term ‘ugly duckling’,” says Gunawan, “But it speaks to the notion of transformation, and in turn, the notion of sustainability — to try and prevent waste by finding ways to use it in a more conscientious and efficient manner. We want to educate people about thoughtful food consumption and show them that they don’t need to throw these pieces away.”

david gunawan

Gunawan’s Ugly Duckling Dinners take their cue from such acclaimed fellow chefs as Matt Orlando of Amass Restaurant in Copenhagen, Denmark and Dan Barber of New York’s Blue Hill restaurant, who hosted the zero-waste pop-up, “wastED”.

In similar fashion, Gunawan will transform a host of common cast-offs like stems, stalks, leaves, rinds and even coffee grounds into a delicious five-course menu designed to both inform and educate guests on the importance of making the most of what local producers, pastures and farms provide — Egg Shell-clarified Chicken Consommé, Baked Potato Skin Mousse and Coffee Ground-infused Ice Milk are just a few examples of what guests could expect.

Royal Dinette’s Ugly Duckling Dinners take place on Tues., Oct. 20 and Tues., Nov. 24 at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are available online at and include a five-course menu with beverage pairings for $79 per person, plus tax and gratuity.

About David Gunawan | A celebrated champion of locavores and a staunch proponent of ecological gastronomy, Chef David Gunawan sharpened his skills at acclaimed kitchens in Chicago, Seattle, Vancouver and Belgium before opening Farmer’s Apprentice in 2013, and Grapes & Soda and Royal Dinette in 2015, each setting a new standard for sustainably sourced farm-to-table cuisine. His culinary approach is dictated by whatever fresh produce arrives at his door from local farmers each day, with Farmer’s Apprentice being named Restaurant of the Year and Best Casual Restaurant at the 2014 Vancouver Magazine Restaurant Awards as well as No. 2 on En Route magazine’s 2014 list of the Best New Restaurants in Canada.

About Royal Dinette | Located in the heart of Vancouver’s Financial District, Royal Dinette revolves around celebrated chef, David Gunawan’s signature focus on bringing together the best fresh, locally sourced ingredients for a true farm-to-table feast for the senses. With an ever-changing seasonal menu, fresh pasta, pastry and butcher stations and a bar menu offering an array of local craft beer, sparkling wine and handcrafted cocktails, Royal Dinette pairs the laid-back, informal atmosphere of a bygone diner with an elegant standard of service to bring quality, value and creativity of cuisine to a whole new audience.

905 Dunsmuir St., Vancouver B.C. V6C 2G2 | Lunch Mon. – Fri. 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. | Dinner Mon. – Sat. 5 p.m. – late | L’Apéro Happy Hour Mon. – Sat. 4:30 – 6 p.m. | 604-974-8077 | | Twitter @RoyalDinette | Instagram @royaldinette

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