Stories / Impact

10 Things Overheard at the 11th Chefs Boot Camp for Policy and Change

Maggie Borden

April 05, 2017


Last month a group of 15 talented chefs came together at Georgia's Serenbe Farms for our 11th Chefs Boot Camp for Policy and Change. Over the next two days, the chefs discussed the challenges their restaurants and the industry as a whole faces when it comes to food waste, and learned tools and strategies for taking on politics and policymaking. This class of chef alumni also participated in our second Dear World experience, joining Robert X. Fogarty's photography project that has traveled the globe sharing the messages and stories of people (from Syrian refugees to celebrities like Susan Sarandon) that reach deep inside and touch their drive and passion. Here are a selection of images from the Serenbe shoot, along with some of the Boot Camp's most memorable quotes.


"Getting people to pay attention is step one."
—Greg Baker, Tampa, FL @greg_baker


"The biggest question for me was how do I speak to [congressional members], how do I connect with them? And I realized that the way to do it was food."
—Kevin Sbraga, Philadelphia @KSbraga


"Our job here is to help you say no more often, but yes more powerfully."
—JBF Senior Director Food Policy Advocacy Katherine Miller @table81


"We make money when we sell food, not when we throw it away."
—JBF Award Winner Debbie Gold, Kansas City, MO @Debbie_Gold


"I'm constantly training chefs to butcher vegetables."
—Justin Severino, Pittsburgh @JustinSeverino


"Anytime someone tells you 'no,' you have to come back with 'well, then, what can I do?' Because they have to answer you, they can't say 'nothing'—or else they'll look stupid."
—Marjorie Meek-Bradley, Washington, D.C. @chefmarjie


"How do we engage the underrepresented and the marginalized societies that also want to be part of the food system? All I think it would take is the right messaging and getting the right people behind it."
—Kevin Sousa, Braddock, PA @sousapgh


"The reason we engage companies like Walmart and Monsanto in conversations is because when companies like that make a small change, it makes such an impact."
—JBF Vice President Kris Moon @kristophermoon


"Your power [as chefs] to get people to speak with farmers is immense."
—Duskie Estes, Sebastopol, CA @duskieestes


See the complete photo album of Dear World’s work with our Boot Camp chefs here.

Learn more about JBF Impact programs.


Maggie Borden is associate editor at the James Beard Foundation. Find her on Instagram and Twitter.