The Creative Sustainable Tip Nyesha Arrington Has For Salmon - Exclusive

Every year, there are roughly 119 billion pounds of food waste in North America (via Feeding America). The good news is that both professional chefs and average at-home cooks are increasingly attempting to remedy this issue with clever kitchen and culinary hacks. For example, they might follow the UN's advice to minimize food waste by purchasing "ugly food" — e.g., fruits or veggies that are misshapen or discolored but still perfectly good to eat — and not buying more than they can actually consume.

Celebrity chef Nyesha Arrington is among those who have embraced sustainability in the kitchen. She has made it a point in her career to use farm-fresh, local, and responsibly sourced ingredients that aid the fight against unnecessary waste, and she was happy to give us a tip or two for decreasing waste in our own kitchens. During an exclusive interview with Tasting Table at the Sun Wine and Food Fest, the "Next Level Chef" judge explained that salmon skin is a great way to start promoting food sustainability.

Use salmon skin as a garnish (or a snack)

Nyesha Arrington serves as a co-host of "Next Level Chef" next to Gordon Ramsay and Richard Blais, and she revealed a cooking tip that she learned through the competition show — or more specifically, the cooking demos. "I made this confit salmon dish and then made a crispy ... taking off the salmon skin and making a chip with it," she told Tasting Table. "[I] had this beautiful confit salmon, and then I garnished it with crispy salmon skin, so it was like a byproduct of salmon."

Arrington added that her garnish can be compared to a salmon-skin chicharron, a Spanish dish that consists of fried pork belly or rinds. Similar to those parts, salmon skin is often removed either before or after it's cooked and is rarely eaten, despite the leftover skin being deemed safe to eat (Medical News Today). But because this skin layer often contains extra minerals and nutrients, it could be beneficial for both your health and for decreasing food waste to reuse it in the form of a chip. We are definitely trying out Arrington's tip for our next salmon-oriented meal — and who knows? If salmon-skin chips catch on, maybe discarding this part of the fish will become a thing of the past.

Season 2 of "Next Level Chef" premieres on Fox on February 12 after the Super Bowl. For more information about the Sun Wine and Food Fest, visit Mohegan Sun's website. Keep up with Nyesha Arrington's latest projects on her Instagram page.