Chefs Collaborative’s 2nd Annual National Summit Draws Change Agents to Boston

Chefs Collaborative Honors Three with Inaugural Sustainability Awards

More than 300 chefs and members of the culinary community gathered at Bunker Hill Community College in Boston, October 3-5, for Chefs Collaborative’s 2nd Annual National Summit.  Attendees took part in timely conversations and practical workshops on topics ranging from what will become of our domestic seafood supply as a result of the gulf oil disaster to season extension and food preservation, heirloom varieties and breeds, green kitchen practices and how to butcher a half steer.

The centerpiece of the two-day conference was an inaugural Sustainable Awards dinner at Allandale Farm in Boston on Oct. 4, featuring Mistress of Ceremonies, Annie B. Copps of Yankee Magazine with a seasonal menu using local ingredients prepared by top chefs from New England. The awardees are:

Chef Peter Davis of Henrietta’s Table in Cambridge, MA, was honored with the Sustainer Award, which recognizes a chef who has been both a great mentor and is a model to the culinary community through his/her purchases of seasonal, sustainable ingredients and the transformation of these ingredients into delicious food.

Chef Chris Koetke of the Culinary Arts Programs at Laureate  International and Kendall College in Chicago, IL was honored with the Pathfinder Award, which recognizes a visionary working in the greater food community who has been a catalyst for positive change within the food system through efforts that go beyond the kitchen.

Allison Hooper and Bob Reese of Vermont Butter & Cheese Creamery, Webstervile, VT were honored with the Foodshed Champion Award, which recognizes a food producer (farmer, fisher, artisanal producer) committed to working with chefs and who exemplifies these principles: Good food begins with unpolluted air, land, and water, environmentally sustainable farming and fishing, and humane animal husbandry and who has formed successful, lasting partnerships with chefs.

“We were thrilled to recognize people who have been doing outstanding work to impact the sustainable food landscape,” said Melissa Kogut, executive director of Chefs Collaborative.

Chefs Collaborative also established the Pioneers Table to recognize individuals who have made longstanding and exemplary efforts in transforming the sustainable food landscape.  The organization will add new honorees each year.  The inaugural members of The Pioneers Table, selected by the Chefs Collaborative Board, are true pioneers who broke with tradition early on to pave the way for legions of chefs and culinary professionals.  The honorees are:

·       Carrie Balkcom, Executive Director of the American Grassfed Association and past longtime board member of Chefs Collaborative.

·       Chef Rick Bayless of Frontera, Topolobampo, and XOCO restaurants in Chicago and former president of the Chefs Collaborative Board.

·       Chef Jesse Cool of Flea Street Café and Cool Café as well as a former member of the Chefs Collaborative board.

·       Chef Peter Hoffman of Savoy and Back Forty restaurants in NY and past longtime board member and former president of the Chefs Collaborative Board.

·       Chef Odessa Piper, a past successful restaurant owner, a champion of regional foods, and former board member.

·       Chef Susan Spicer of Bayona and Mondo in New Orleans, was a founding board member of Chefs Collaborative.

·       Chef Ann Cooper, known as our nation’s renegade lunch lady, was the first vice-chair of the Chefs Collaborative board.

·       Chef Michel Nischan of the Dressing Room in CT is founder of Wholesome Wave Foundation, and former board member of Chefs Collaborative.

·       Dun Gifford, President of Oldways, until his untimely death in May. Sara Baer-Sinnott accepted the award for Dun.

·       Joan Dye Gussow, professor emeritus and former head of the nutrition education department at Columbia and a past, longtime member of the Chefs Collaborative board.