A look into a sustainable operations environment

Students saw what it means and what goes into having a sustainable operation when the Hospitality Club and the Sustainable Food and Beverage Management course recently toured the Mezzaluna Pasteria & Mozzarella Bar, a green-certified restaurant. 

“For me growing up in Germany, everything was about recycling and reusing. Well, more reusing than recycling,” said owner Soerke Peters. “You don’t waste any energy and you turn off the lights because no one had the money for one and two, it was the right thing to do.” 

Mezzaluna has been open since April 2019 and is known for its freshly made pasta, mozzarella and gelato. This restaurant is the second green-certified operation in Pacific Grove, the first being Point Pinos Grill, located in Asilomar.

Sustainable Hospitality Management Professor Angel González, asked if it was more expensive to run a green-certified restaurant.

“Yes and no, some equipment is more expensive, but the way we use it is in an efficient way, which makes it worth it,” Peters said, “So yes, it’s expensive to buy these things, but if you do it conscientiously, you actually save money instead of wasting it.”  

The restaurant has also won an award from the Monterey Bay Aquarium for sustainable fish sourcing. 

“It was a big surprise to me because I was the first chef ever to get this award,” Peters said. “I was always heavily involved with the aquarium and sustainability, Pacific Grove and Carmel, so I guess that’s how I got it.”

 Peters said being a chef is hard work and a continuous learning process.

 In addition to getting to hear from Peters, attendees also took a tour of the restaurant to see what goes on in the kitchen when it comes to preparing the food and drinks, participants said. 

Overall the event aimed to help students who are interested in this field learn more about the importance of sustainability in the hospitality industry and even add it to their way of living.

Mezzaluna is at  1188 Forest Ave., Pacific Grove and is open from 5-9 p.m, Wednesday through Sunday.

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