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

Alison Tozzi Liu

June 17, 2015

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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 there's something we can do to make the world a better place through food, we have no problem coming together.”—Michel Nischan (Wholesome Wave) @MichelNischan

“I want to make it a normal experience for there to be really good, delicious food that’s affordable for everyone. I’m ready to step in line and join the army to help make some impactful, long-lasting change.”—Matt Weingarten @ChefWeingarten

"74 percent of Americans believe that [those in] the food and beverage industry should be more active participants in the broader debate over solutions to food and nutrition policy."—Katherine Miller @table81

“I have a voice and I need to do something with it. There’s so much that needs to happen on the education level.”—Tiffany Derry @MasterChefTD

“After focusing on what's happening inside the walls of a restaurant, now I have kids and I'm thinking about what’s happening outside those four walls.”—Ryan Prewitt @PecheNOLA

“We need to reach a more politically sensitive level where we can make more of a statement. There’s huge power, especially as the team builds. The power of that is probably far greater than we realize.”—Bradley Ogden @ChefBradleyO

“Everything we do as chefs can affect the community.”—Rick Bayless @rick_bayless

“Somewhere along the way, we each had a spark. Whether we like it or not, we're leaders now.”—Mark Noguchi @musubman

“I have kids, and I make their lunch every day because they go to public school and I don’t want them eating what is being served.”—Ruben Garcia @RubencGarciaChef

"As small-business owners, employers, and leaders in your community, you have a tremendous voice that can be used to advocate for the food system you want to see in our country."—Kris Moon @kristophermoon

“I’m lucky enough to go into a walk-in everyday and see a plethora of ingredients, and I think about people who don't have access to good food.”—Eric Gabrynowicz @EricGabrynowicz

"Flavor develops in muscles with age, activity, and diverse diets. Tenderness is increased by confinement and rapid growth in younger animals. By prioritizing flavor, we lengthen the lives of livestock and improve animal welfare."—Adam Danforth @adam_danforth

“There’s a lot of responsibility I feel on my shoulders.”—Alex Seidel @bigaseidel

"We're all very confident as chefs, but we're not as confident in this public arena. We were strangers two days ago, teammates in the kitchen one day ago, and now we have the tools, the confidence, and each other as resources to take it from here." —Anthony Sasso @casamono

“We can preach all day long about getting vegetables and whole grains into a cafeteria, but there’s technique involved in making them taste good. That takes more time and skill, more thought, more care.”—Steven Satterfield @millerunionchef

“I’m realizing for the first time that it’s not that difficult to make a difference. It’s like opening a restaurant, right? It’s easy.”—Adam Evans @adamhevans

“I’m doing an inside happy dance.”—Kevin Fonzo @ChefFonzo

"There are so many pieces of the puzzle in the sustainable food movement. They all matter."—Steven Satterfield @millerunionchef

“We can do something really powerful together. That is the truth.”—Evan Hanczor @EvanHanczor

“I think we’re going to be a group people talk about 20 years from now.”—Jodi Cummings @jodigirl11

 

Find out more about the JBF Chefs Boot Camp for Policy and Change here.

Read our interview with Boot Camp alumni Bill Telepan here.

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