Name: Charleen Badman
Location: Restaurant FnB (Scottsdale, AZ)

What sustainable practice are you most proud to utilize at FnB? Obviously using local is very important to me. Recycling and composting as well. I have compost at home and love watching the break down of green food waste, coffee grounds, old menu paper, our chicken farmer’s waste and spent grain from a local brewery become something I can put back into my soil to nourish my plants. 

How do you showcase the best of Arizona’s farming and agricultural community at FnB? We support dozens of farmers in Arizona from our chickens, dairy and produce. We have very different and special growing seasons in Arizona. Some of the most beautiful weather and produce in the fall, winter and spring. I have been able to form relationships with farmers in other parts of Arizona so we are able to extend our seasons during the hard, hot months of summer in the valley. Our farmers have also become more creative with how they grow their produce in the summer. My business partner, Pavle Milic, has an Arizona wine list that FnB showcases by the glass and bottle. Our AZ winemakers are wonderful, hard working individuals I am proud to know. 

What are you most excited about in the year ahead? I think it would be part of the answer below and the work we are trying to accomplish with the Blue Watermelon Project here in AZ. I would like to see more awareness about how we feed children as much as people are demanding knowing where their food comes from. 

How do you Change Menus in order to Change Lives? My passion is with changing menus and the thinking of our school children. There is so much we can do to change the thinking of a child about food and where it comes from. I’m always excited to be able to have the opportunity to work with children and the impact it may have on how they think about food and what choices they make. In Arizona we have started the Blue Watermelon Project under the umbrella of the Slow Food Phoenix organization. It is a grassroots group of chefs, farmers, restaurateurs, and community food advocates that believe in good food, equal and fair access to it, and that a systemic food systems change starts from the ground up. 

Your bio says you’re known as the “veggie whisperer” – what’s your favorite vegetable to incorporate into dishes and why? It’s way too difficult to pick one vegetable. I’m always excited and inspired to see our vegetables come into season here in Arizona and be able to showcase the bounty.  Arizona seasons are so different from the rest of the country.