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Inspiring Words from the Newest Class of Boot Camp Alums

Alison Tozzi Liu

June 02, 2016

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Last week 14 chefs from around the U.S. touched down in Big Sky Country, ready to get to work on changing the world, one food-system issue at a time. At our 9th Chefs Boot Camp for Policy and Change, we focused on how chefs can help reduce the vast amount of food wasted in this country (almost half of what is grown and produced here), the true cost of food, and how the culinary industry can be instrumental in making important changes to the food system.

“We are all participating in the food-waste issue. We’re either part of the problem or part of the solution.” –Steven Satterfield @millerunionchef

“One in four children in my community doesn't know where their next meal is coming from. There are a lot of people working on this, but people still don’t have access to fresh foods. I’d like to figure out a way to make a connection between reducing food waste and increasing food security." –Katie Button, Curate and the Nightbell, Asheville, NC @chefkatiebutton

"At my restaurants, the main concern is food cost—and addressing food waste is the first step in combatting high food costs." –Doug Ruley, SoDel Concepts, Rehoboth Beach, Delaware @sodelconcepts  

"When we first opened, we were forced into preventing waste to save money. Now, it’s not out of financial necessity: we utilize everything to try to create flavors.” Ryan Smith, Staplehouse, Atlanta @ryansmithchef  

“The economic incentive for reducing food waste is huge. These aren’t just talking points. We are going to change things." –Ben Jones, The Resort at Paws Up, Grennough, Montana @chefbenjones  

When you do good, it’s good for business. There are so many things that are broken and inefficient in this system. There's a lot to be explored using technology for reducing waste." –Jason Weiner, Almond, NYC and Long Island @jasonweiner

We throw away 40 percent of the food we produce. And there are children who are hungry." –Kwame Onwuachi, The Shaw Bijou, Washington, D.C., @chefkwame  

"Collectively, we can do a lot of good work. We need to seize the moment and make change happen now while we have this voice that people are listening to.” –Mourad Lalou, Aziza, San Francisco @mouradlahlou

"If you start watching the waste, everyone is more aware of it, and that’s the first step. People come up with ideas by watching the compost. For example, someone saw some tough asparagus bottoms and roasted them until they were gooey and spread them on bread for family meal at the restaurant.” - Steven Satterfield, Miller Union, Atlanta @millerunionchef  

We try to be smart with ingredients, using what might be normally be discarded to create other delicious menu items. For example, our Original Fried Chicken Sandwich features candied jalapeño mayo. In the candying process, we are left with simple syrup that is infused with the bite of jalapeño. We save that syrup and serve a candied jalapeño margarita.” –Josh Kulp, Honey Butter Fried Chicken, Chicago @chefjoshkulp

Learn more about the JBF Impact Programs and our Chefs Boot Camp.