The Chefs Boot Camp for Policy and Change was created in 2012 and became the foundation of the James Beard Foundation’s ongoing industry advocacy programs. During COVID-19, many of the Chefs Boot Camp program’s alumni put their advocacy training to work along with other industry leaders to be a part of the Independent Restaurant Coalition (IRC), which was created with support from the James Beard Foundation. The IRC went on to help get restaurant relief included in the American Rescue Plan, and is currently lobbying for a bill to replenish the Restaurant Revitalization Fund in order to meet the immense need of independent restaurants around the country in light of the continued struggles of the industry. Read the IRC's latest guide to Congressional outreach.

Learn more about the IRC and support its work here

Chef advocacy is an important arm of the James Beard Foundation. The voices of the community are even more important and powerful now, as impacts of COVID-19 can be felt across our food system—restaurants are struggling to survive, food insecurity is on the rise, local and regional food systems are straining to keep up with demand and farmers, fishermen, and other producers are at risk of losing their businesses. For more information and updates sign up for the industry support newsletter.

Chefs Boot Camp for Policy and Change

Since 2012, Chefs Boot Camp for Policy and Change has inspired and trained chefs around the country to mobilize in support of policy decisions that impact our food system. Hundreds of chef-advocates have successfully lobbied to provide nutritious school meals, protect SNAP recipients, support American fisheries, reduce food waste, and fight for safer, more regenerative food production across the United States. 

Due to COVID, JBF is currently hosting the Chefs Boot Camp for Policy and Change virtually. Sign up for our industry support newsletter for updates on Boot Camp, and to be notified when the expression of interest form opens for our next program.

Advocacy Webinars and Newsletter

Participants will gain knowledge on topics ranging from the current state of play for policy such as the Restaurant Revitalization Fund and Child Nutrition Reauthorization to developing a strategic message to tips for talking to your elected officials. Attendees will have access to special guest speakers and experts and will be connected with organizations working on positive policy solutions. Stay up-to-date and sign up for our industry support newsletter.

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Program Sponsors


Official James Beard Foundation Partners