Videos are up from the Washington Post’s Future of Food Conference. To echo what Melissa wrote about the conference, there are inspiring talks given by many leading figures in the food movement. What struck me most was what Gary Hirschberg (CEO of Stonyfield Farms) said about the power of consumer choice. As chefs, you are consumers of the first order and you have a level of visibility that allows you to guide and educate your customers in their choices.
An excellent example of customer education is Boston-area Chef Jose Duarte, who has made it his mission to educate his customers. While QR codes silk screened with squid ink onto plates may not be for everyone (even though it’s REALLY cool!), there are lots of ways to educate your customers.
I’m starting a thread on the Chefs Collaborative Facebook page for members to brainstorm methods for engaging customers. What do you put on your menus? How do your waiters explain the foods you serve? Are there key phrases or points that seem to click for people? Let’s talk about what works and what doesn’t. What is practical for you and why? Same goes for farmers: how do you educate your customers at the market? I would love to see discussion from members all over the country – that way we get a real diverse array of ideas. Join in!