Food Waste Culinary Instructor Curriculum

Pilot Overview

As part of its mission to create a more sustainable, equitable, and delicious food system, the James Beard Foundation (JBF) is developing a food waste prevention training program for culinary school instructors. With support from The Rockefeller Foundation, JBF will develop and test a food waste reduction curriculum with instructors working across a wide range of institutions—from technical schools to community colleges to four-year universities. The program will offer skills training and the curricular tools needed to inspire current and future generations of culinary students to minimize waste, and maximize use of ingredients.

According to research conducted by ReFED, 63 million tons of food, valued at $218 billion, is wasted annually in the United States. Of that, one third is wasted by restaurants and commercial foodservice businesses.

To combat this startling and untenable trend, the James Beard Foundation seeks to support an industry-wide change in the way our nation’s restaurants value and respect our food resources.

In addition to the pilot training program, the James Beard Foundation is delighted to announce the appointment of Dr. Jonathan Deutsch as its new JBF Impact Program Fellow. In this role, Deutsch will oversee the development, piloting, and national rollout of this program. Deutsch holds a Ph.D. in Food Studies and Food Management from New York University, a culinary degree from the Culinary Institute of America, and a bachelor’s degree in Hospitality Management from Drexel University. As professor of culinary arts and food science at Drexel University, Deutsch founded the Drexel Food Lab, a food product design and innovation lab focused on solving real-world food system problems.

To help shape and test the curriculum outline, the James Beard Foundation has invited a group of culinary educators from diverse institutions across America to serve on our Culinary Instructor Pilot Group. Click here for the full list of participating instructors.

In addition to harnessing the talents of culinary educators, The James Beard Foundation has invited chefs, culinary professionals, and other subject matter experts to join an advisory committee that will provide important perspective and insight for the project’s development. Our Food Waste Curriculum Advisory Committee members include:

  • Chris Cochran, Executive Director, ReFED
  • Lary Eells, Executive Chef, Hyatt Regency, Orlando
  • Steven Finn, VP of Food Waste Prevention, LeanPath
  • Jennifer Hill Booker, Owner/Executive Chef, Your Resident Gourmet
  • Justin Kanthak, Account Director, Griffith Foods Inc.
  • Adam Kaye, Culinary Director, Blue Hill at Stone Barns
  • Kelly McClay, CEC, CCE, Dean, The Academy of Culinary Arts
  • Susan Miller-Davis, Principal, Infinite Table
  • Kevin Mullins, Co-Founder & CEO, Food Rescue
  • Regina Northouse, Executive Director, Food Recovery Network
  • Gary Oppenheimer, Founder/Executive Director, AmpleHarvest.org
  • Pete Pearson, Director, Food Waste, World Wildlife Fund
  • Mary Petersen, President, The Center for the Advancement of Foodservice Education (CAFÉ) & Executive Editor, The Gold Medal Classroom
  • Steven Satterfield, JBF Award–Winning Executive Chef/Co-Owner, Miller Union
  • Kyle Weeks, JBF Scholarship Recipient, Formerly: Apple, R/GA Ventures