Enlightened Eaters: Candice Kumai on Clean Eating

Photo by Andrew Lipovsky

 

Despite years of modeling, Candice Kumai never felt sexy until she made the decision to revamp her diet and her lifestyle. Kumai switched to “clean eating,” and hasn’t looked back since, finding satisfaction and success as a chef, wellness journalist, and cookbook author. The Top Chef  alum detailed her experiences at our recent Enlightened Eaters event, which focused on her newest cookbook, Clean Green Eats. We spoke with Kumai about the importance of family, her inspiration to eat and cook better, and whole-food diet tips for the home cook.

 

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JBF: When did you start to focus on clean eating? 

 

Candice Kumai: My mom always scolded me for eating too many processed foods as a teen, and I never really got it until I started to eat clean in my mid-20s. It was the tremendous... Read more >

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Jonathon Sawyer, Part Two: Tuna and Trash Fish

Photo by Billy Delfs

 

In part two of our interview with Jonathon Sawyer (read part one here), the tireless activist and JBF Award winner explains why nobody should be eating bluefin tuna, how people can eat more sustainable seafood, and why trash fish is delicious.

 

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JBF: You recently wrote a piece for Esquire where you state that you’ve given up tuna. Do you still cook with it for your restaurants or any other events?

 

Jonathon Sawyer: No, we would never do that. I can say this with a fair amount of confidence, there’s really only ever been tuna in our restaurants once, and it was maybe about three-and-a-half years ago, at Noodle Cat. A chef that was new to the company did a special with some tuna. I think that’s literally the only time it’s ever been in the... Read more >

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Jonathon Sawyer: Not a Sustainability Peer-Pressure-ist

Photo by Billy Delfs

 

Jonathon Sawyer is a toque of all trades. When he’s not in the kitchen at one of his five Cleveland-area hot spots, developing new varieties of his proprietary vinegars, writing a cookbook, or foraging, fermenting, and pickling at home, this year’s JBF Award winner for Best Chef: Great Lakes somehow finds the time to advocate for transparency and sustainability in the food system. In our continuing series on alumni from our JBF Chefs Boot Camp for Policy and Change initiative, we talked to Sawyer about opening Ohio’s first certified green restaurant, his ingredient-sourcing hierarchy, and what needs to change about the way we label our food.

 

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JBF: You opened Ohio’s first restaurant that was certified by the Green Restaurant Association (GRA). Can you explain what some of those requirements are for that certification, and your own... Read more >

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20 Inspiring Quotes from Our 7th Chefs Boot Camp for Policy and Change

 

Last week, 15 chefs from around the country met at Glynwood, a nonprofit farm in New York’s Hudson Valley. The occasion? Our seventh JBF Chefs Boot Camp for Policy and Change, a program geared toward building a network of colleagues who all have a common goal: to use their voices to become effective leaders for food-system change. They had a few minutes to marvel at the bucolic setting—and their fellow Boot Campers (yes, that is Rick Bayless!)—before getting down to work. In 36 hours, they’d be heading back to their restaurants armed with tools to become compelling advocates for the issues they’re passionate about, as well as more than a dozen lifelong friends and comrades in the food revolution. Here are some of the most inspiring quotes from the retreat:

 

“Even though this is a competitive business, if there's something we can agree on and we know that... Read more >

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Chefs Congregate at Glynwood for JBF’s Chefs Boot Camp for Policy and Change

Photo by Beall + Thomas Photography

 

More than a dozen chefs from around the country will convene for the James Beard Foundation's seventh Chefs Boot Camp for Policy and Change at Glynwood in Cold Spring, New York, from June 7 through June 9. This is the second time the multi-faceted program will take place at the agricultural nonprofit’s 225-acre farm. This series of workshops will provide chefs with the policy and advocacy skills they need to be effective champions for their chosen food-system causes. The intensive three-day session is programmed in partnership with the Chef Action Network (CAN) and made possible with founding support from the Osprey Foundation, with additional support provided by Glynwood.

 

The upcoming Chefs Boot Camp for Policy and Change will immerse participating chefs in sessions including:
 

Creating a Fair, Just, Sustainable, Nutritious, and... Read more >

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James Beard Foundation Kicks Off Summer with the Better Burger Project™

 

The James Beard Foundation is kicking off the Better Burger Project™ just in time to heat up the grill. In partnership with the Mushroom Council, JBF is challenging chefs and restaurants nationwide to create a delicious, healthier, and more sustainable hamburger by blending ground meat with finely chopped, cultivated mushrooms. Chefs competing in the Better Burger Project™ will feature their “better burger” on menus from Memorial Day, 2015, through July 31, 2015, and America will vote for their favorites through an Instagram-based social media challenge. 

 

“As a chef, restaurateur, and chair of the D.C. Food Policy Committee, I’m thrilled to join the Better Burger Project™ in an effort to help educate diners across the country on the many benefits of blended burgers,” said Spike Mendelsohn. “We have an amazing opportunity to highlight how strategic food choices can reduce strain on the environment but also provide a variety of flavors and nutritional benefits. A blended burger... Read more >

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Dear World at JBF Chefs Boot Camp for Policy and Change

 

There was no shortage of enlightening moments at the sixth JBF Chefs Boot Camp for Policy and Change this month, but a visit from Robert X. Fogarty and Jonah Evans at the end of a long day was completely invigorating.


Fogarty and Evans introduced us to Dear World, a photography project that started in 2009 when Fogarty began documenting New Orleans residents’ love letters to their city. Since then, Dear World has told the stories of survivors of the Boston marathon bombing and Syrian refugees, and has featured recognizable people like Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus, Susan Sarandon, and the late Stuart Scott.

 

The chefs participating in Boot Camp were invited to create a message about something they care about—and to become a part of the ever-growing, inspirational,... Read more >

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14 Inspiring Quotes from Our 6th Chefs Boot Camp for Policy and Change

Photo by Ron Calamia

 

At last week’s sixth JBF Chefs Boot Camp for Policy and Change, 14 chefs gathered on Avery Island in Louisiana to take part in intensive workshops to learn how to use their powerful voices to help create a more fair, just, nutritious, sustainable, and delicious food system for everyone. Here are some of the most inspiring quotes from the two-day retreat:


"Food is the cornerstone of health and wellness. It shouldn't be a privilege just for the wealthy."--Seamus Mullen @SeamusMullen

 

“There is no place for hunger in our world. It’s a travesty that must be eradicated.” --Asha Gomez @AshaGomez

 

“If you eat a chicken finger every day for ten years it's poison. If it poisoned and killed you instantly... Read more >

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JBF Hosts Sixth Chefs Boot Camp for Policy & Change

Partiicpants at the James Beard Foundation's Chefs Boot Camp in Bentonville, Arkansas

 

More than a dozen chefs from around the country will convene for the sixth Chefs Boot Camp for Policy & Change on Avery Island, Louisiana, home of the world-famous Tabasco Sauce. The three-day, multi-faceted program, taking place March 15–17, will provide chefs with the policy and advocacy skills they need to be effective champions for their chosen food-system causes. The chefs will participate in an intensive series of workshops programmed in partnership with the Chef Action Network (CAN), and made possible with support from the Osprey Foundation, the Irene W. and C.B. Pennington Foundation and Eric Kessler, JBF Board Member and Managing Director of Arabella Advisors.

 

The upcoming Chefs Boot Camp for Policy & Change will immerse... Read more >

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Deadline for 2015 Women in Culinary Leadership Grants Extended

Deadline for 2015 Women in Culinary Leadership Grants Extended

 

The James Beard Foundation has extended its deadline for its 2015 Women in Culinary Leadership Grant. Applications will now be accepted through January 16, 2015. Women with at least two years of professional hospitality or culinary experience are encouraged to apply for a chance to participate in a six- or twelve-month mentor/grantee program with top industry leaders, including Christina Tosi, Tom Douglas, and Matt and Kate Jennings.

 

Mentorship programs are available with the following chefs and restaurateurs:

 

  • Kevin Boehm – Boka Restaurant Group, Chicago (six months; front of house)
  • JBF Award winner Richard Melman and Kevin Brown –

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