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

Alison Tozzi Liu

March 23, 2015

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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 we wouldn't have them anymore.” --Bill Telepan @BillTelepan

“I’ve spent my whole life pushing sugar. People aren’t going to stop eating sugar—we shouldn’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. When you’re with a group of people and you take a bite of a really great dessert, the conversation just stops. We don’t want to get rid of those moments.”
--Emily Luchetti @EmilyLuchetti

“Food as a single subject has more impact on human health, environmental health, societal health, and economic health, than any other subject.” --Michel Nischan @MichelNischan

“I’ve seen a single chef’s ability to transform a city.” --Jamie Simpson @Jamie_Simpson86

“One of the striking things to me is imagining everyone here going back to their own networks and seeing what can collectively happen and how that will move the needle.” --Renee Loux @ReneeLoux

“I hope to help create a clear, combined voice to help people have a better connection to their food.” --Christian Thornton @AtriaMV

“You don’t grow if you’re not uncomfortable in some ways.” --Victor Albisu @VictorAlbisu

“I’ve realized that even if our opinions may be different, we're all speaking the same language. When I go back to Charleston, I have a lot to share—especially with my students—about how to advocate for things that we believe in.”
--Kevin Mitchell @cheffy611

“My biggest takeaway is that ultimately I'm not an army of one. And that I can reach out and use my voice to make a difference.” --Sherry Yard @ChefSherryYard

“At one point it hit me. My voice is bigger than I realized and I can have more of an impact.” --David Carson @DavidCarson427

“You bring a group of talented and passionate people together and get to see their different approaches. I have more ammunition to go back to Hawaii and do my thing.” --Lee Anne Wong @LeeAnneWong

“The real value of all of this work is that we're building community. Not just in the ‘Kumbaya’ sense, but to make real change.” --Michael Leviton @LumiereNewton​

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Alison Tozzi Liu is editorial director at the James Beard Foundation. Find her on Twitter and Instagram.