US Chef Creates Chicken Burger with Claw to Promote Zero-waste after Covid-19 Shuts His Restaurant
A San Francisco-based chef has come up with the claw sandwich to promote the use of whole animals and zero-waste food | Image credit: Instagram
"Waiter, there's a claw in my burger". Now that's a complaint none of us hope to make. But at a novelty sandwich makers' in San Francisco, United States, the claw is the specialty.
Named suggestively as "Birdbox", the little restaurant run by chef Chris Bleidorn has a single-specialty - The chef's special fried chicken sandwich. But unlike other sandwiches, this one comes not just with a chicken leg but an actual, fried claw. Named Claude.
The decidedly creepy-looking burger was a rather unlikely result of the coronavirus pandemic. According to a report on CNN, it was inspired by Bleidorn's love for all things chicken. But the closing of his Michelin-starred restaurant 'Birdsong' due to the Covid-19 pandemic compelled Bleidorn and his team to start the fried chicken-with-claw sandwich venture in a bid to monetize the odd dish.
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This is Claude the Claw. Sure, he’s cute and all, but that’s not the only reason we keep him around. For us at Birdbox, Claude is a reminder of the kind of food we want to serve and the producers we want to support. We get whole birds and aren’t shy about showing off every bit of them. Our chickens are organic, free-range and vegetarian-fed (they aren’t given bits of their cousins for breakfast). Pretty happy guys. They are raised by, cooked by, then served to humans who care. So, we respect Claude the Claw and all that he reminds us of. He might seem intimidating at first, but perhaps it’s Claude-less chickens we should be giving the side-eye. Think about giving our guy a little fist-bump next time you see him. #claudetheclaw #respecttheclaw #talktotheclaw #birdboxsf #birdsongsf
But apart from giving the sandwich the unique 'Birdbox' trademark, the claw in the sandwich also serves a nobler purpose. It aims to spread the message about food waste and consumer awareness about the food they are consuming. Instead of buying select animal pieces that the food industry markets, Bleidorn advocates the use of whole animals to reduce food waste
"Our habit is we go to a store and buy a bag full of 24 chicken wings or 24 chicken drums. They could be in the frozen section or prepacked in the deli, and we see people mindlessly toss them into their carts. Not thinking that 24 wings come from 12 chickens," he tells CNN.
The burgers were an instant hit on Instagram with many taking to the platform under the hashtag #ClaudetheClaw to share their claw-some food photos.
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Happy FRYday! Enjoying the smokeless skies in the Bay with the most unique-looking fried chicken sandwich I've ever had. . . . #rickyeatsworld #bayareafoodie #bayareaeats #sanfranciscorestaurants #sffoodie #eatersf #foodie #foodporn #sfeats #instafood #bestfoodsf #foodpic #foodphotography #forkyeah #bayareabuzz #bayareabites #foodiesofinstagram #foodiegram #yummy #friedchickensandwich #friedchicken #claudetheclaw #sandwiches #michelinrestaurants #michelinstar #takeout
The zero-waste ideal is slowly but surely a growing trend within the food and hospitality industry. With more and more pressure on the hospitality industry to adhere to sustainability goals and controlling food waste, many including chefs and restaurants as well as bars and pubs are taking to low-waste models or recipes.
Take Dublin-based Brazilian entrepreneur and ice-cream chef Makinde Pereira Goncalves who started her own brand of zero-waste gelato ice cream during the lockdown. Not only is her brand, 'Cream of the Crop' a delicious and environmentally healthier alternative, her business model of churning milk from the sheep of her own farms provided her with a sustainable source of raw material despite the pandemic.
With coronavirus seemingly here to stay until the discovery of the vaccine, it might be time for the hospitality industry to look beyond the conventional modes of production and distribution to more environmentally-friendly alternatives.