Chefs Collaborative – a national network of chefs, food professionals, and producers – is changing the sustainable food landscape. When it was created almost 20 years ago, a sustainable food system was still a new idea. The founders of the organization—including Rick Bayless, John Ash, Alice Waters, Deborah Madison, Nora Pouillon, Mary Sue Milliken, Ann Cooper – were visionaries. They understood that chefs could significantly impact consumer buying habits, food production and distribution. Today, the organization’s national network includes more than 12,000 chefs, food professionals, producers, and activists.
Chefs have a unique opportunity to influence change in the food system – both through their connection to their customers and each other, and through their own buying power. Chefs Collaborative is the only national nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting sustainability among chefs in both restaurants and institutional food service; fostering local and regional networks of chefs; and ensuring a strong voice in the media for the chef perspective on a sustainable food system.
Programs & Priorities
Chefs Collaborative is widely recognized for its National Sustainable Food Summit, which annually galvanizes more than 300+ chefs, food professionals and the media for a 2-day educational and experiential conference. The 2013 National Sustainable Food Summit will be in Charleston, South Carolina from November 3rd – 5th.
We are thrilled to announce that The Chefs Collaborative Cookbook is now available. The cookbook, authored by Ellen Jackson, features recipes from more than 115 renowned chefs from across the country. To order your copy today, click here. And stay tuned for information on our spring book parties!
Real change happens only where there is dialogue. For many years, the Chefs Collaborative has organized and supported networking events where local stakeholders have the opportunity to learn about complicated topics like improving the local supply of pasture raised beef or sustainable seafood, or to address supply and distribution problems together. In the next three years, Chefs Collaborative will continue this work by building and supporting 12 on-the-ground local networks, dubbed Locals, bringing together chefs, farmers and other producers to address key challenges in regional food systems and support chefs through peer-to-peer networking.
The organization is currently working with groups in Seattle, Portland, OR, Portsmouth, NH, Providence, RI, Boston, and New Orleans. Future priorities may include: Chicago, DC, Philadelphia, Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill, Los Angeles, and Denver.
Meat of the Matter
(new title in development)
Sourcing and cooking sustainably produced meat is a significant challenge for most chefs. Barriers may include cost, availability, unfamiliar flavor profiles, inconsistent fabrication and distribution, lack of experience working with the whole animal, and more. We will develop and implement a comprehensive program to educate and engage chefs on issues surrounding meat – including ecological, economic, and public health impacts of different production methods and humane animal husbandry – as well as address sourcing challenges for chefs seeking sustainably raised meats. Through member-driven workshops, trouble-shooting sessions, a mentor program, and publications, we aim to make our network of chefs fluent in sustainable meat issues and to minimize impediments to their ability to source and serve sustainable meat.
The Chefs Guide to Sourcing Sustainable Seafood is in its third printing and Green Chefs, Blue Ocean, the online sustainable seafood tutorial (available here), developed with Blue Ocean Institute, is used in culinary schools and restaurants around the country. These and our other educational initiatives reach hundreds of chefs each day, helping chefs and cooks interested in running more sustainable kitchens.
To learn how you can get more involved in Chefs Collaborative’s programs, please contact our Program Manager Alisha Fowler at firstname.lastname@example.org.