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Upcycled flavor

For the home chefs who have ever felt chagrinned at tossing away celery fronds or cutting out a chunk of a bell pepper because of a blemish, Chef Philip Saneski has felt your pain. The award-winning chef is going to show people just how some of that food considered “waste” can be turned into something delicious.

Saneski will serve as the guest chef at the Salvage Social Hour that will be at the El Capitan Hotel in Merced from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. April 21. Saneski, with the hotel’s Executive Chef Quentin Garcia as well as chefs from UC Merced, will be serving upcycled foods with sponsors Black Sheep Foods, The Ugly Company, Sundial Foods, and others.

A sampling of the menu includes: Cauliflower Arancini with romesco sauce, Herb Stem Falafel with carrot top chimichurri, Upcycled Za’atar Breadsticks, Sundial Plant-Based Chicken Wings, Peruvian Causa Rellena, Caramelized Chicken Skewer with rescued bread garlic sauce, Tapas Style Albondigas with black sheep foods plant-based lamb, Blondies with Ugly Company dried apricot white chocolate chip, and Renewal Mill Brownies with Ugly Company dried cherries. 

Saneski has served as vice president at Product for Regrained, an upcycled food start up and led product development for CCD Innovation, a food and beverage consultancy in the Bay Area. He also has worked in Michelin-starred kitchens and served on the board of the Research Chefs Association, with a particular mission towards expanding the shelf life of various foods.

Priced at $20/person, tickets include an entree and appetizers, in addition to cocktails for sale. Proceeds from the event will go to UC Merced Basic Needs Program, which provides vita resources for students who are struggling with food insecurity. To reserve your spot, reach out to or