Meghan McKee’s passion is food – sustainable food. As the Executive Chef at Coronado Yacht Club, Meghan is transforming the club’s menu, implementing sustainable practices, and educating its membership.
“I love creating sustainable, delicious, healthy food,” explained McKee as she enthusiastically talked about buying sustainable, locally grown and sourced foods.
“All of our seafoods and meats are locally sourced,” said McKee, “Our meats are all hand cut.”
“We have vegetables and herbs growing in our new garden, and we order fruits and vegetables from local farmers through Specialty produce, so everything is fresh, never frozen.”
McKee and her team implemented composting when she was hired at Coronado Yacht Club. “All kitchen scraps are composted, and food waste is placed in the green bin,” explained McKee.
The club’s menu has changed and three to four new specials are offered each week. “I am very proud that we have not repeated our weekly specials. I like the variety, and I love the challenge that it creates for myself and my staff.”
In addition to changes to be more sustainable, McKee has been instrumental in changing hearts and minds to embrace meatless options and reduce plastics. This past week, one of the specials was Burrata and Pesto Lasagna. The holiday themed red (tomato) and green (pesto) layered lasagna with pesto, ricotta, burrata, spinach, crispy Prosciutto and Italian herbs was served with a side of CYC Caesar salad. Delicious!
McKee promotes understanding of the necessity for clean, plastic-free waters and their responsibility to eliminate plastics. Emerald Keepers created table toppers to inform members of the detrimental effects of plastics.
Coronado Yacht Club is to be commended for their sustainability efforts to include Boris — the marine skimmer (gifted by Emerald Keepers with the help of generous donors), the work of the Green Team, touchless faucets to save water, and the expansion of the garden.
McKee recently partnered with the Coronado Island Film Festival as part of their Culinary Cinema for the film Spear. Spatula. Submarine sponsored by Emerald Keepers. The film is about lionfish, an invasive species in Florida and the Caribbean. Scientists believe about ten lionfish were released by someone into the Floridian waters. These invasive, poisonous fish decimate local fish populations which disrupts the food web critical to reef health. As a way of reducing their population, lionfish hunting is encouraged in these areas. The toxins are removed when cooked. Rather than wasting the protein resource, restaurants serve lionfish. For the showing, McKee prepared two beautiful and delectable bites for the occasion. The first was a cucumber cup with pesto hummus, an olive tomato tapenade, basil, parsley and crumbled Feta. The second, a wonton cup filled with a mini version of the CYC poke cup mixed with seaweed salad, furikake, wasabi and sriracha aioli. The table was beautifully presented and was zero waste with only a napkin to be composted or placed in a green bin.
One cannot help but be inspired to think and act more sustainably in the kitchen after speaking with Meghan McKee. Emerald Keepers certainly is and has partnered with Meghan to provide a vegetarian recipe for our monthly newsletter. Be on the lookout for her yummy recipes. We are all excited to learn more about recipes that can help heal the body and the planet. If you are not signed up to receive our newsletter, you may sign up on our website: emeraldkeepers.org.
Congratulations, Meghan McKee, for being Emerald Keeper of the Month – a well-deserved recognition.