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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Bill Telepan, Part II: From Blubber Burgers to Boot Camp

Photo c/o Telepan

 

In part two of our interview with Bill Telepan (read part one here), the celebrated chef tells us how he addresses issues outside the cafeteria, how our Chefs Boot Camp for Policy and Change made him uncomfortable, and why his ultimate goal is to become obsolete. 


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JBF: Wellness in the Schools (WITS) covers more than just than the food served in school cafeterias. What else do you address? 

 

Bill Telepan: Right now, only about three-and-a-half to four hours per year are spent on food and nutrition education in schools. We started WITS Bits, which are 20-minute classes where we teach kids nutrition through real examples. Some things we do include are building a “blubber burger” to show with lard what goes into a fast food cheeseburger, and showing them how much sugar is actually... Read more >

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Bill Telepan: It Started with a Sandwich

Photo c/o Telepan
 

Chef Bill Telepan’s message is simple. We all deserve to eat better. When he’s not personally making sure the customers are well fed at his eponymous Upper West Side eatery, Telepan, he’s in a few unlikely places—New York City public school cafeterias and Capitol Hill—seeing to it that good food is something that everyone grows up with access to. In part one of our series on James Beard Foundation Boot Camp Alumni, we talked to Bill Telepan about how he gets kids to eat salad, how to convince politicians in D.C. to take up a cause, and how some of his famous friends are joining him on the front lines of the city’s school cafeterias. 

 

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JBF: You’re known for your passion for improving school food. How did that issue capture your attention in the first place?

 

Bill... 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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Chef Op-Ed: How to Feed the World, Hari Pulapaka

 

From health professionals and farmers to chefs and activists, it seems like the food system is on everyone's minds lately. How can we channel this widespread concern into meaningful action? Below, Katherine Miller of Chef Action Network, our partner organization behind our Chefs Boot Camp for Policy & Change, and chef and Boot Camp alum Hari Pulapaka propose a more collaborative approach to debating policy.

 

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Can every person in the world be fed? Yes. But only if the conversation and actions about food are realigned.

 

Later this week, leaders from over 190 governments will gather at the International Conference on Nutrition in Rome to debate, consider and, hopefully, commit to finding ways to provide healthy, delicious, sustainable and just food for all.... Read more >

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Ask the Chefs: Healthy Eats

 

For kitchen pros, it can’t be all foie and filet mignon all the time. Below, attendees at our recent Chefs Boot Camp for Policy & Change share their favorite healthy eats. 

 

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What’s your favorite healthy snack?

 

Anthony Lamas,  Seviche Restaurant, Louisville, KY
“I love to make a Mexican fruit salad of watermelon, jicama, and pineapple seasoned with a squeeze of lime, chile powder, and salt."

 

Jordan Lloyd, Bartlett Pear Inn, Easton, MD
“Anything fresh from the garden or sliced charcuterie—I feel that feeding the soul is a healthy decision.”
 

Ana Sortun, Oleana, Boston
“My favorite organic, sugar-free chocolate bar with a spoonful of sunflower butter, or a frozen banana and almond milk in the blender to make a quick soft-serve.”

 

 

When you give in to an... Read more >

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