Contact Chef Sam Kass at the White House about Overuse of Antibiotics!

We’re working with Pew Charitable Trusts to ask chefs and food professionals to sign onto a letter to Chef Sam Kass, Executive Director of Let’s Move! and Senior Policy Advisor for Nutrition Policy at the White House about overuse of antibiotics in farm animals. Click here to view the letter and add your name.

samkass

Chef Sam Kass. Photo credit: White House

Sam Kass has demonstrated a deep commitment to creating a more sustainable and healthy food system and we’re urging him to support much-needed policies to rein in the overuse of antibiotics in food animals and ensure that these drugs remain effective for future generations. We believe that antibiotics should only be used to treat sick animals, not to compensate for unsanitary conditions or make animals grow faster. The cost of these farming practices to public health is too high. At a minimum, President Obama and his administration should swiftly finalize policies drafted by the Food and Drug Administration to end the most egregious misuses of antibiotics and expand veterinary involvement in their use on the farm.

Click here to read the letter, and add your name.

Posted by: Alisha Fowler

Announcing Summit Workshops

2013SummitLogo_WebWe’re seven weeks out from the Chefs Collaborative Sustainable Food Summit, happening in Charleston, SC from November 3-5, and we’re so excited to share the lineup of Summit workshops with you!

Announcing Summit Workshops
What are you curious about: GMOs? Charcuterie? The connection between microbes and flavor? With 11 workshops to choose from on November 45h and 5th, it’s just a matter of prioritizing.

  • A Vision of Greatness (Is Not a Strategic Plan) – A Workshop with Ari Weinzweig
  • GMOs: What Chefs Need to Know – With Bonnie Powell, Urvashi Rangan, Mardi Mellon, Gary Nabhan
  • Trash Fish: Bycatch Ceviche, Drum Heads & Other Tasty Treats – With Clare Leschin-Hoar, Chef Justin Yu, others
  • Vegetable Fermentation: Exploring the Possibilities – A Workshop with Sandor Katz
  • I Can Cure That – Hands-On with Chef Craig Deihl at Cypress
  • Mastering the Media – With Haven Bourque and Leslie Hatfield
  • Microbes and Flavor: A Closer Look at Fermentation – With Rachel Dutton, Dan Felder, and Ben Wolfe
  • Hogonomics – With Barry Estabrook, Chef Stephen Stryjewski, Maisie Greenawalt, Paul Willis, and others
  • Expanding Options for Sustainable Seafood – With Sheila Bowman, Chef Allen Susser, and others
  • Sustainability: Table for Two, Four, or a Million – With Arlin Wasserman, and others
  • The Flavors of Farmed Fish – Working Title - With Paul Greenberg, Cathy Roheim, Michael Rubino, Scott Nichols

Read the full descriptions of the workshops and learn more about the speakers. Summit ticket holders receive their first choice of workshops, so be sure to buy your ticket today and then RSVP for workshops.

BuyTickets

Beyond workshops, the Summit is packed with full-group sessions, featured speakers, and delicious food! We can’t wait to enjoy Lowcountry and Gullah cuisine and taste some of the innovative cooking offered by Charleston’s talented chefs. See the full schedule.

We know you’re very busy this time of year, and it can be hard to take time away from your kitchens and businesses. But we promise it’ll be worth it. Please contact me with any questions about the Summit. We hope you can join us in Charleston!

Posted by: Alisha Fowler

Field Trips On Sale Now!

We can’t wait to welcome you to Charleston this November for the Chefs Collaborative National Sustainable Food Summit. Our Summit Field Trips are now on sale. 

FieldTripsButton

There are five awesome trips to choose from, all organized by chefs and food professionals on our Host Committee. Check out the descriptions below, and the full details on our website.

Saturday, November 2:

  • Knives, BBQ, and Rural Beauty: Head inland to Middleton Made Knives, enjoy a heritage hog lunch at Scott’s Bar-B-Que, meet Gra Moore of Carolina Heritage Farms, and more!
  • Lowcountry Farm Tour: Go behind the local food scene as you travel to Dirt Works Incubator Farm, Green Grocer, Charleston Tea Plantation, and Firefly Distillery and Irving House Vineyards.

Sunday, November 3

  • Middleton Place: Visit historic Middleton Place; tour an organic farm, discuss seed saving techniques, go on a carriage ride, enjoy catered lunch, and explore historic gardens.
  • Northbound by Land and Sea: Head north out of Charleston to Thornhill Farms, then travel to Capers Island to walk the Boneyard Beach and enjoy a lunch of Frogmore Stew. End the day with a visit to Clammer Dave’s aquaculture beds.
  • Oysters and Ancient Grains: Travel south to tour Lady’s Island Oyster Farm. Fleet Landing Restaurant will cater lunch (with oysters!), then you’ll continue to Clemsen Research and Education Center, where you’ll hear from Glenn Roberts of Anson Mills. On your way back, you’ll stop in at Grow Food Carolina – South Carolina’s first local food hub.

All Field Trips depart from, and return to, the Francis Marion Hotel in downtown Charleston. And if you take a trip with us on Sunday, November 3, we’ll have you back in time for the Summit kickoff.

FieldTripsButton

Please contact us with any questions – we hope you’ll join us!

Posted by: Alisha Fowler

Join the Coalition to Protect Gulf Seafood

logoFrom Stephen Stryjewski, Share the Gulf Coalition Chef Chair, Board Member of Chefs Collaborative and Chef/Owner Cochon and Pêche Seafood Grill

I’m pleased to serve as the Chef Chair of the Share the Gulf Coalition, and I’d like to ask you to support a public education campaign to protect fair access to local, sustainable Gulf fish.

Unfortunately, a few powerful interest groups want to pass new fishing regulations and Congressional bills that reserve more and more red snapper and other reef fish for recreational fishing only. In fact, we’ve seen this happen before; in the 1980′s commercial fishermen (and chefs) were shut out of the Gulf red drum and speckled trout fisheries.

Just click here to add your name to the Coalition to Protect Your Access to Gulf Seafood.

By adding your name you are joining with other chefs and food professionals to say that you support fair access to sustainable Gulf seafood.

The campaign will be in touch at critical moments to let you know how you can help. If popular Gulf of Mexico seafood is increasingly set aside for recreational anglers, then supplies of fresh, wild and sustainably managed fish will be harder to come by. That means chefs, restaurant owners and consumers will have to rely more heavily on farmed and imported fish at a time when the popularity of local seafood is at an all-time high.

We believe that all Americans – sportsmen as well as restaurants and seafood lovers – deserve to enjoy the Gulf’s bounty. And they shouldn’t have to catch it themselves to do so.

For additional information and to become a member of the Share the Gulf coalition, please visit www.gulfseafoodheritage.com  or contact Liz Bodet at (504) 583-5550.

Posted by: Alisha Fowler

Cookbook Teaser! Chef Brian Alberg’s Blue Cheese Bread Pudding

After the release of The Chefs Collaborative Cookbook, we asked chefs to submit videos about their contributions. These clips highlight recipes and the chefs behind them, and we want to share them with you!

Chef Brian Alberg from the Red Lion Inn in Stockbridge, MA, uses local eggs, dairy, cheese and artisan bread for his Blue Cheese Bread Pudding, a rich and savory twist on a traditional dish. The quality of the ingredients is critical to this recipe, and Chef Alberg lists suggestions for local blue cheese producers in different regions of the country. Check out his blog after you watch the video!

Posted by: Hayley Fager

Niman Ranch: Scholarship Winners

From Melissa Kogut, Executive Director of Chefs Collaborative, and Drew Calvert of Niman Ranch

NimanPigs-1We’d like to thank all the chefs who applied for a scholarship to attend the Niman Ranch Hog Farmer Appreciation Dinner weekend.  We received more than 150 applications from members around the country.  The committee had a very difficult time selecting just 10.  To those who did not receive a scholarship this year, we hope to be able to offer it again.

 We’re pleased to congratulate the 10 scholarship winners:

  • James Briscione, Director of Culinary Development, The Institute of Culinary Education, New York, NY
  • Ann Cooper, Director of Food Services, Boulder Valley School District, Boulder, CO
  • Sarah Curtis-Fawley, Owner and Culinary Director, Pacific Pie Company, Portland, OR
  • Paul Fehribach, Chef/Owner, Big Jones, Chicago, IL
  • Jim Gallivan, Academic Director, Culinary Arts, Art Institute of Atlanta, Atlanta, GAcow_protocol
  • Drew Hedlund, Executive Chef, Fleet Landing, Charleston, SC
  • Bruce Ozga, Dean of Culinary Education, Johnson and Wales, North Miami, FL
  • Deborah Scarborough, Chef/Owner, Black Cat Bistro, Cambria, CA
  • Derek Wagner, Chef/Owner, Nicks on Broadway, Providence, RI
  • Matt Weingarten, Culinary Director for Unique Solutions, Sodexo, Brooklyn, NY

Thank you to all who applied for your commitment to responsible and sustainable farming practices, and congratulations again to our winners. Stay tuned for a blog post on the weekend’s festivities!

 

 

Posted by: Hayley Fager

Member Spotlight: Chef Hari Pulapaka

Chef Hari Pulapaka, Chef and co-owner of Cress, in DeLand, Florida, has been serious about responsible buying decisions since he opened his restaurant in August of 2008. Last week we sat down with Chef Pulapaka to discuss his approach to sustainability in the kitchen.

haripulapaka

What was your intro to sustainability in the kitchen?

Growing up in Mumbai (formerly, Bombay), India, I was used to procuring seasonal ingredients from the neighborhood farmers markets or the grocer who delivered the ingredients to our home (many of which still do today). These ingredients were mostly sustainable and native to the region.

When did you first start to think about sustainable practices in the kitchen and how did you start?

When my wife Jenneffer and I decided to open our restaurant Cress about 5 years ago, I naturally sought out sources of local and sustainable produce, seafood, and meat proteins. We have a weekly farmer’s market in our area, and I’ve gotten to know some of the farmers very well over the years.  Sometimes I go to the farms to pick up the produce myself. We’ve also scheduled numerous dinners at the farms, one of which took place in April of this past year.

What size restaurant are you operating?

Cress seats 38 guests in the dining room and 15 guests on the “Cress Patio,” our al fresco dining space.

How would you describe your restaurant?

Cress is an independent (my wife and I own and operate it) restaurant that specializes in blending local, seasonal, and artisanal ingredients with globally inspired dishes.

How do you apply sustainable practices on a daily basis? What’s your framework for making choices?

Of course, we recycle as much as possible, minimize our energy consumption, and use all food trimmings for house made stocks. Jenneffer and I are also exploring the possibility of partnering with Stetson University and the merchants of Mainstreet DeLand Association to use normally discarded food waste to make fertilizer or feed for local farmers. This project is still nascent in its development, but we are greatly inspired to continue the conversation and are serious about putting it into practice. I recently attended the James Beard Foundation Boot Camp for Policy and Action in Louisville and came away with a plethora of ideas, all of which require time and dedicated focus. Additionally, I am working closely with some national leaders on matters related to sustainability: Michel Nishan, (JBF Winner, President & CEO of Wholesome Wave), Katherine Miller (Director, Chef Action Network), Eric Kessler (Founder, Arabella Advisors), Kristopher Moon (Director of Charitable Giving, The James Beard Foundation), Maria Hines (JBF Winner), and Andrea Reusing (JBF Winner). At the end of the day, we make choices that are in line with our restaurant’s mission.

Can you describe a sustainability challenge you’ve overcome?

I wouldn’t describe this as a challenge but rather a logistical constraint: we have many ideas, but sometimes it is difficult to find the time to get the ball rolling on a specific venture. In addition to being a full-time and active professional chef, I teach Mathematics full-time at Stetson University, and my wife runs a private medical practice full-time along with managing the restaurant and serving as its Wine Director.

Fill in the Blank:

I’m best known for my seafood cookery but I can make one heck of a pasta dish.

Why are you a member of Chefs Collaborative?

I am seeking new connections and ideas from experts and colleagues around the country so that I can be an active and significant leader in my region (Central Florida) on matters related to the sustainability and health our region’s food system.

Posted by: Hayley Fager

Bristol Bay Salmon on the Menu from VA to CT

As August quickly approaches, we are thrilled to receive pictures from restaurants and organizations across the country hosting Bristol Bay salmon events in partnership with Chefs Collaborative and the Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association. Below are a few highlights from the past week!

Virginians Grill Salmon on USA-Produced Charcoal

BB_CompoundButter

Hunter’s Head Tavern’s Bristol Bay sockeye with herbed compound butter.

On July 25, Hunter’s Head Tavern in Upperville, Virginia hosted a grilling class that put the spotlight on Bristol Bay salmon. Guests learned how to grill Bristol Bay salmon and dress it with herbed compound butter. The Tavern also offered flights of Virginia white wines as an accompaniment along with grilled local vegetables. To complement the evening, they grilled on sustainably harvested USA produced charcoals. Way to go!

Schools (Not) Out for the Summer

Bristol Bay fishermen sporting a Hotchkiss School tshirt. (Photo credit A + C Images)

Bristol Bay fishermen sporting a Hotchkiss School tshirt. (Photo credit A + C Images)

The Hotchkiss School in Lakeville, CT featured Bristol Bay Salmon with fresh peach salsa, organic gluten free wild rice pilaf and sauteed swiss chard from their own farm in their dining hall on July 13th. In addition, the school’s chef Andrew Cox recently had the opportunity to hold a free cooking class for the public in Salisbury, CT.

There, he prepared and served Bristol Bay salmon and mentioned the need to protect the fishery. Click here for the full article. The menu was seared Bristol Bay sockeye salmon with Hotchkiss grown garlic scape pesto, Hotchkiss grown swiss chard and organic kidney beans with ginger and lemon thyme. Delicious.

 

 

 

 

Posted by: Alisha Fowler

Trash Fish Take Over Las Vegas

On July 22, Chef Mary Sue Milliken, Chef Susan Feniger, and Executive Chef Mike Minor of Border Grill teamed up with Rick Moonen of RM SeafoodChef Tim Doolittle of Table 10 Las Vegas, Chef Jet Tila of Kuma Snow Cream and The Charleston, and Chef Michael Leviton of Lumiere and Area Four to put on a Trash Fish Dinner for more than 60 people at Border Grill Las Vegas.

The dinner featured delicious alternatives to the seafood we love and eat too much of, highlighting fish species that normally never make it to our dinner plates, largely because they are undervalued or discarded as bycatch. 

Meet the chefs behind Trash Fish Las Vegas! Several Chefs Collab founding members in the mix. From L to R: Tim Doolittle of Table Ten Las Vegas, Chef Mary Sue Milliken of Border Grill, Chef Rick Moonen of Rick Moonen’s RM Seafood, Michael Passmore of Passmore Ranch, Mike Minor of Border Grill Las Vegas, Susan Feniger of Border Grill and Susan Feniger’s STREET, Chef Jet Tila of Kuma Snow Cream & The Charleston, and Michael Leviton of lumiere the restaurant and Area Four (and Chefs Collab board chair!) Photo Credit: Big Tom Photography

Meet the chefs behind Trash Fish Las Vegas! Several Chefs Collab founding members in the mix. From L to R: Tim Doolittle of Table Ten Las Vegas, Chef Mary Sue Milliken of Border Grill, Chef Rick Moonen of Rick Moonen’s RM Seafood, Michael Passmore of Passmore Ranch, Mike Minor of Border Grill Las Vegas, Susan Feniger of Border Grill and Susan Feniger’s STREET, Chef Jet Tila of Kuma Snow Cream & The Charleston, and Michael Leviton of lumiere the restaurant and Area Four (and Chefs Collab board chair!)
Photo Credit: Big Tom Photography

Chef Mary Sue Milliken wrote an op/ed published in the Las Vegas Sun in advance of the dinner, noting that, “At the dinner, we will taste six to eight interesting and delicious seafood dishes and share amazing trash fish stories. The idea is not to over-promote any one species of fish. We don’t want to do what chefs did to Chilean sea bass years ago…Our hope is to increase awareness and help diners fall in love with some alternative, very plentiful and sustainable seafood.”

We were thrilled to work with these seven talented chefs. We’re proud to share that the dinner did not disappoint. The night began with cocktails (thanks American Harvest), and appetizers including Chef Mike Minor’s Grassy Bar oysters from Morro Bay and Chef Michael Leviton‘s blood clams on the half shell. Guests also started off with Northern California squid tempura – which featured fresh hand-cut squid, shishito peppers, soy ginger serrano glaze.

Chef Susan Feniger plates Trash Fish appetizers. Photo: Big Tom Photography

Chef Susan Feniger plates Trash Fish appetizers. Photo: Big Tom Photography

“It was an amazing night, with some of the top chefs getting together at Border Grill for a great cause. I was so proud to be hosting the first Trash Fish Dinner in Las Vegas,” said chef Mike Minor.

As everyone sat down to enjoy a multi-course meal, they began with grilled baby romaine with Pacific sardine croutons, and Chef Michael Leviton’s sea robin ceviche with corn cakes and cilantro crema.

Chef Mary Sue Milliken preps the grilled romaine with Pacific sardine croutons. Photo: Big Tom Photography

Chef Mary Sue Milliken preps the grilled baby romaine with Pacific sardine croutons. Photo: Big Tom Photography

Other menu highlights included Border Grill’s Passmore Ranch sturgeon, which consisted of smoked sturgeon brandade with mashed potato, seared pea tendrils, and sturgeon caviar. 

Border Grill's Passmore Ranch Sturgeon: smoked sturgeon brandade, mashed potato, seared pea tendrils, sturgeon caviar. Photo: Big Tom Photography.

Border Grill’s Passmore Ranch Sturgeon: smoked sturgeon brandade, mashed potato, seared pea tendrils, sturgeon caviar. Photo: Big Tom Photography.

Chef Mike Minor in action during Trash Fish Las Vegas. Photo: Big Tom Photography

Chef Mike Minor in action during Trash Fish Las Vegas. Photo: Big Tom Photography

Chef Rick Moonen‘s bycatch bouillabase was also a clear favorite. Las Vegas Weekly reporter Sarah Feldberg had this to say about Rick Moonen’s dish, and the success of the dinner:

“Rick Moonen described his Bycatch Bouillabaise as a ‘methadone program’ for addicts of more widely known fish, but it was better than that. In fact, all of the food at the one-night-only collaborative dinner from Moonen, Border Grill chefs Mike Minor, Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger, Boston-area chef Michael Leviton and Wynn-alum Jet Tila was fantastic…”

BycatchBouillabase_TrashFishVegas3

Chef Rick Moonen’s bycatch bouillabase. Photo: Big Tom Photography

The chefs had fun cooking together, and they also kept their eyes trained on the point behind the evening: “We’ve been passionate for years about preserving the health of our oceans and the variety of seafood for generations to come,” noted Chef Susan Feniger.

TrashFishVegas_1

Guests enjoying one of many courses during Trash Fish Las Vegas. Photo: Big Tom Photography.

Before dessert, Sheila Bowman of Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch Program spoke to the crowd about the seafood on the menu. She answered questions about the menu choices, and discussed the importance of diversifying our seafood choices.

Sheila Bowman of Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch Program. Photo: Big Tom Photography

Sheila Bowman of Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch Program. Photo: Big Tom Photography

The evening ended with Chef Jet Tila’s TCHO Chocolate mint snow cream – with cocoa nibs, mochi, and taro drizzle (thank you TCHO).

We are beyond thrilled with the success of Trash Fish Dinners so far, and want to give a big thank you to our sponsors: Border Grill, Rick Moonen’s RM Seafood, Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch, American Harvest, and TCHO Chocolate. It was a joy to bring the dinner series to Las Vegas and help convene chefs to highlight under-appreciated seafood species.

Stay tuned to hear where we’re headed next!

Posted by: Alisha Fowler

Bristol Bay: Featured Dinners – and Photos!

To all the chefs working hard across the country to showcase Bristol Bay sockeye salmon during the peak of salmon season: thank you! This is the second year we have teamed up with the Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association to host Bristol Bay salmon dinners, and we are blown away by the interest and support shown by 70+ chefs and food professionals across the country! We hope your Bristol Bay Dinner events have been successful so far.

With the dinners wrapping up next month, we want to share highlights with with the world, and ask you to please email us your Bristol Bay dinner photos.

 

Roulade of Bristol Bay Salmon, morel mushrooms, sauce cardinal, summer truffles from Blueacre Seafood

Featured Chefs and Dinners: 

  • Chef Kevin Davis of Seattle’s Blueacre Seafood hosted The Last Wild Salmon Dinner on July 3. Of the dinner, he says: “I am a huge fan of Bristol Bay sockeye. This is a beautiful fish, we love to serve it, and it is a crime against nature that anyone would consider building a copper mine where these fish reproduce year after year.”
  • On July 7, JJ Gonson, Chef/Owner of Cuisine en Locale in Somerville, MA, and Josh Lewin, Executive Chef of Beacon Hill Bistro in Boston, MA, took the public on a taste tour through Bristol Bay. Attendees learned about the families who have been fishing Bristol Bay for generations, and the menu even featured ingredients like cranberries from the fishing town of Egegik.
  • In Virginia, Hunter’s Head Tavern and Home Farm Store are running specials all month long! At Hunter’s Head Tavern, a Bristol Bay Salmon special is featured every night; at Home Farm Store, fresh salmon is offered when available. Their efforts are part of a larger Made in America & locally sourced products focus.

Photos

Here are a few of our favorite photos so far. Please email us your Bristol Bay dinner photos if you haven’t yet! Email: [email protected].

Bristol Bay Salmon, brown butter pea puree, spring onion, hazlenut romesco sauce. Rich Garcia, 606 Congress. Boston, MA

Bristol Bay Salmon, brown butter pea puree, spring onion, hazlenut romesco sauce. Chef Rich Garcia, 606 Congress in Boston, MA

1013732_10200954387798611_438289748_n

Roulade of Bristol Bay Salmon, morel mushrooms, sauce cardinal summer truffles. Chef Kevin Davis, Blueacre Seafood in Seattle, WA

The menu and Bristol Bay tablecards at Blueacre Seafood in Seattle, WA

The menu and Bristol Bay tablecards at Blueacre Seafood in Seattle, WA

 

Chef Mary Reilly's Butter basted sockeye salmon with rye berries, cauliflower and romanesco, broccoli, sweet pea puree. Enzo Restaurant & Bar in Newburyport, MA

Chef Mary Reilly’s Butter basted sockeye salmon with rye berries, cauliflower and romanesco, broccoli, sweet pea puree. Enzo Restaurant & Bar in Newburyport, MA

jmCurley_Boston_BB

Smoked salmon rilettes toast with tomato-halaby emulsion, Chef Samuel Monsour, jm Curley in Boston, MA

Salmon tartare by K Restaurant in Orlando, FL.

Salmon tartare by K Restaurant in Orlando, FL

 

Posted by: Alisha Fowler