FDA Announces Action on Antibiotics. Is it Enough?

You may remember that earlier this year, more than 500 chefs in our network helped send a strong message to Chef Sam Kass at the White House. We asked him to continue to be a leader on the issue of antibiotics.

This week, the US Food and Drug Administration announced a new set of policies that could start to rein in antibiotics misuse on factory farms.

Thank youYour collective voices helped the FDA take a step, which is a really big move on their part and their first definitive action in more than 40 years.

But, there is still a lot of work to be done to stop overuse of antibiotics in animals.Antibiotics misuse is running wild, and the industry standard for the treatment of animals is far from humane, healthy, or environmentally sustainable.

Rancher Bill Niman put it well when he remarked that right now, we have a situation where “people who are not doing things correctly need to use antibiotics prophylactically to replace good animal husbandry.”

Not only do we need to change the way we use antibiotics in animal production to protect human health (the CDC linked the routine use of antibiotics in farm animals to human deaths), doing away with prophylactic use of antibiotics in animals could lead to better practices overall.

This is a critical issue for chefs who care about sustainability. To learn more about how antibiotics misuse affects you, you can download a one-page fact-sheet we put together with the help of Pew Charitable Trusts.

There is one silver lining to all of this, though: unlike other global challenges like climate change, we know we can solve this problem. We’ll be in touch early in the New Year about our plans to leverage your influence to end antibiotic misuse!

Posted by: Alisha Fowler

Our Top 20…

For two decades we’ve worked together to transform the food system and raise chefs’ voices across the country. As we enter the final days of our 20th year, we want to share the 20 things we are most thankful for in 2013.

(Please give us 21 things to be thankful for with your end-of-year gift!) 

Members of the Knoxville Local gather around a whole hog butchering demonstration at the Plaid Apron Café.

1. Chefs committed to their communities. Local leaders all over the country are bringing community-minded chefs together through our Local Networks, chefs who want to share skills and resources, break bread, and change the status quo. Go BostonRhode IslandNew HampshirePortland (Oregon), SeattleKnoxvilleAtlantaMemphisDes Moines, and Charlotte! (Let us know if you want to start something near you.)

2. Southern hospitality. Can you say OYSTER ROAST? We were blown away by the awesome welcome we got from the chef and food community when the Sustainable Food Summit landed in Charleston, SC this fall. And to our host committee, thank you, you were there at every turn.

3. Pimento cheese. Because we can’t get enough. Who really can?

4. Rhymes with duck. Who doesn’t appreciate a well-placed cuss, especially the ones dropped by our Board Chair, Chef Michael Leviton?Michael is the walking, chopping, swearing embodiment of our mission.
5. Our badass Board. They are a force to be reckoned with. Even the ones who might not use Michael’s colorful language (and there aren’t too many that don’t), the chefs and experts on our Board have the smarts, the talent and the passion to lead the revolution to transform our food system. Meet our Board of Overseers.

6. Our philanthropic and corporate partners. What can we say? You can’t drive a car without gas in the tank… an effusive thanks to The David and Lucile Packard Foundation, Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association, Pew Charitable Trusts, Niman Ranch, Organic Valley, Anolon, Compass Group, Monterey Bay Aquarium, and all of our sponsors!

7. Shutting down the bad guys in AK. Chefs heeded our call to action to put Bristol Bay sockeye salmon on their menus this summer, and kept the threat of Pebble Mine in the news. One of the major investors also pulled out of Pebble Mine. Woo hoo! The fight’s not over but we’re giving them a wallop.

8. Rick Bayless. A vital member of the Chefs Collaborative old guard, who recently remarked, “Just as necessary as when we first began 20 years ago, Chefs Collaborative continues to reinvent itself to tackle the challenges that need to be met head on. I’m so proud to be part of this organization.”

9. Chefs who want to tell the White House the way it is. More than 500 chefs responded decisively to our call to action to let our friend at the White House, Sam Kass, know how we feel – overuse of antibiotics in meat production is killing us. Thank you also to Pew Charitable Trusts for putting your resources behind this issue.

10. The staff that could. The four hardworking staff members (and lovely interns), whose combined talents and hard work helped to forge chef-to-chef connections, supported Locals, kept interesting content on the website, planned Trash Fish Dinners, leveraged chef voices in the news, and put on an annual Summit…

11. The visionaries. Hats off to our founders, who knew that chefs could be influential in getting the world to pay attention to the concept of “sustainability.”

12. Trash Fish on FIRE. With a name meant to provoke interest in the under-appreciated sustainable species, Trash Fish debuted in Boston last March, setting off a Trash Fish frenzy. Chefs Collaborative Trash Fish Dinners took place in Chicago, Las Vegas, and Portland, OR. Not to mention a number of spin-off events, and a front page article in The Wall Street Journal! Coming soon: New York, New Hampshire, and Washington, DC…

13. Chef humor. Just watch:

14. The Chefs Collaborative Cookbook. Because you ain’t got street cred unless you’ve got a cookbook. With 115 recipes from member chefs, it makes an excellent holiday gift… hint hint.

15. Boulder, Colorado. During the 2013 Summit in Charleston, Boulderites Sara Brito, Bradford Heap, Kelly Whitaker and Eric and Jill Skokan did their homework for our 2014 Summit, which will be in Boulder next fall. Thanks in advance to chef Hugo Matheson and Sylvia Tawse for co-chairing the Boulder host committee and to the Boulder community. We can’t wait!

16. Sustainability stars. The 2013 Sustainability Awards went to chef Rick Bayless, National Sustainer; chef Anne Quatrano, Sustainer Southeast; Will Harris, Southeast Foodshed Champion; and Glenn Roberts, Pathfinder. We’re in awe of what they do.


Photo: Carolina Photosmith

17. Whole pastramied lamb. Because who does that? Craig Deihl of Cypress in Charleston, SC. That’s who.

18. Your kooky creativity. While we have our wonky standouts like Portland Oregon’s “It ain’t all Crappie” Trash Fish Supper and the New Hampshire Local’s nearly indescribable musical revue, featuring original songs written and sung by chefs and a board member dressed like a gypsy, there isn’t enough space to share all of the menus, field trips, gatherings, and stories from our members. Chefs are a creative crew, and we can’t wait to see what you do in 2014.

19. Our core! We simply cannot thank our members enough! Chefs Collaborative is a membership organization and your involvement is vital if we want to change the food system together. Thank you (and it is not too late to become a member in 2013).

20. YOU. It all comes down to you. You change the ingredients, the menus, the conversation that will fix our broken system. Thank you for being a part of our community.

21. Your gift. Make us the happiest non-profit in the world this holiday with a tax-deductible gift of any size.

All the best for the holidays and a happy New Year! And cheers to 2014 – let’s transform the food system together.

The Chefs Collaborative Team

Posted by: Alisha Fowler

Weekly Member News Round-Up 12/2-8

Chefs Collaborative members do amazing work every day – check out our weekly members news link round-up to see what’s going on around the country:

  • Hale Aina Happenings: celebrating local food (Martha Cheng, Honolulu Magazine, 12.2.13) Peter Merriman reflects on the 25 years since he opened his Waimea restaurant, and he comments that he is still surprised by what his “farmers keep producing and innovating.”
  • Dock to Dish: A Full Circle of Awesome (Liza de Guia, food. curated., 12.3.13) Meet Sean Barrett and learn about his organization Dock to Dish, the first community supported fishery in Long Island.
  • Restoring Porkopolis (Ilene Ross, CityBeat, 12.4.13) Ilene Ross writes about how pork has become an important player in the culinary scene and about the relevance of nose-to-tail dining.

With the holidays fast approaching, here are some examples of our members giving back:

  • Naples Winter Wine Fest announces 2014 chefs (Amy Sowder, News-Press, 12.7.13) Bill Telepan and Michael Anthony will be cooking at the Naples Winter Wine Festival, which has in its first 13 years raised over $110 million to help children in Collier County.

Also, look out for the 2014 Farmer-Fisher-Chef Connection put on by the Seattle Chefs Collaborative that will take place February 24th from 8:30 AM to 6:30 PM at the Seattle Central Culinary Academy.

Posted by: Chefs Collaborative

Less Can Be More

This is a guest post by member chef Hari Pulapaka, Chef at Cress Restaurant in Deland, Florida. 

As chefs, we are driven by the ingredients, seasons, culture, and to some degree, personal preferences. Ingredients like Kobe beef, white truffles, and foie gras, which are found on a wide range of restaurant menus offer decadence and “exclusivity.”

As a chef, you have to really try to make these ingredients sub-par. It’s like being dealt a Royal Flush in a game of poker. But the fact of the matter is that the vast majority of the world’s population will never have an opportunity to partake in a meal that includes such ingredients.

What is equally true is that as plush as some of these ingredients can be, there are a greater number of lesser-regarded ingredients that are often overlooked by professionals and amateurs alike.

kitchenRecently, we featured some “lesser” Florida fish at a very special dinner at Cress Restaurant. Inspired by the Trash Fish dinners hosted by Chefs Collaborative in Boston, Chicago, Las Vegas, and Portland (OR), we created a seven-course dinner not including an amuse bouche and intermezzo with wine pairings.

And the price of the dinner: $50 per person, all-inclusive! Mike and Tony of Mike and Tony’s Seafood provided all the fish at their cost which was a whopping $177.

As a comparison, a mere ounce of white Alba truffle is usually significantly more expensive. The dinner was attended by 32 guests and we had plenty of fish left over.

Yes, but how did it all taste you ask?

Some comments from our foodie guests included “Delicious”, “Inspiring”, “Tasty”, and “Imaginative.” As a chef, we really cannot ask for much more in terms of validation for we do. On the menu, were lesser known and commercially sold fish like Butterfish, Croaker, Jack Crevale, Black Mullet, Sheepshead, and Sea Trout. Each fish variety is unique in taste, texture, and yield which provides an opportunity to be creative and thoughtful.

Butterfish at the event

Butterfish at the event

As professional chefs, we must embrace these lesser ingredients in the name of sustainability, affordability, and creativity. We are already planning “lesser vegetables, “lesser meats”, and “lesser grains” at Cress Restaurant. It is truly an exciting time to be a chef!

Click here for more information about the menu for the Lesser Florida Fish Dinner


Hari Pulapaka is a two-time James Beard nominated chef who serves on the Advisory Board of The Chef Action Network, a non-profit organization that connects chefs to tools and resources that will help them create significant and lasting change in their communities, the country and the world. CAN is focused on harnessing the power of America’s preeminent chefs in support of a strong, sustainable, just and healthy food system. He and his wife Jenneffer, a podiatric surgeon own and run Cress restaurant in DeLand, FL. Hari also has a Ph.D. in Mathematics from the University of Florida and is a full-time tenured Associate Professor of Mathematics at Stetson University in DeLand, FL.

Posted by: Alisha Fowler

Honoring Judy Rodgers


Photo credit: Kim Kulish for The Los Angeles Times

We are saddened to hear about the passing of Judy Rogers, longtime chef at Zuni Cafe in San Francisco. She was a true luminary, and a former member of Chefs Collaborative. You can read a wonderful tribute to her in the LA Times.

Judy Rodgers nurtured a generation of cooks and her presence in the community will be sorely missed. For more than 25 years at her iconic San Francisco restaurant, it was all about attention to detail – both in terms of the quality of ingredients and the techniques used to prepare them. The result was always simple, delicious and beautiful food.”

- Michael Leviton, Board Chair of Chefs Collaborative; chef/owner of Lumiere in Newton, MA and chef/co-owner of Area Four in Cambridge, MA.

Do you have a memory of Judy Rodgers, or of cooking her iconic Zuni Cafe roasted chicken? Please feel free to leave a memory in the comments below.

Posted by: Alisha Fowler

Celebrate #GivingTuesday with us today!

130312_chefscollaborative_20yearsWith Black Friday and Cyber Monday behind us, it’s time for Giving Tuesday. Today, Americans across the country are celebrating and supporting nonprofit organizations at the start of the holiday season, and giving what they can to ensure that we can give back all year long.

Celebrate #GivingTuesday With Us
Being a part of this movement is easy! Can you donate just $20 to Chefs Collaborative today?

Why Support Chefs Collaborative?
2013 marks 20 years of our work connecting chefs with chefs to transform our food system. We’re asking for donations of $20 in honor of the last 20 years of working together. Help us reach our December fundraising goal of $27,000 and support our work in changing the food system.

Donations of any size are welcome. Any contribution you make will directly support our efforts to make real change happen and get better food on our menus.

How To Give
Head over to our Giving Tuesday website, or send your gift via mail by mailing a check to 89 South St., LL, Boston MA 02111.

What Now?
Thank you so much for being a part of #GivingTuesday. Please consider sending this blog to a friend to help amplify our impact!

Posted by: Alisha Fowler

Weekly Member News Round-Up 11/25-12/1

Chefs Collaborative members do amazing work every day – check out our weekly members news link round-up to see what’s going on around the country:

  • ‘Food, Inc.’ Pioneer Award Winner: Wholesome Wave (Willy Blackmore, TakePart, 11.24.13) Michel Nischan discusses his nonprofit Wholesome Wave, which is an anti-hunger group working to increase the affordability and access of healthier food choices in underserved communities.
  • How to Deep Fry A Turkey (Chef Kurt Michael Friese, Real Food For All, 11.27.13) Kurt Friese shares his tips for cooking a turkey as well as his distaste for commercially available birds and preference for “real” turkeys.
  • Ethan Stowell sets price for fine dining — $300 per person (Glenn Drosendahl, Puget Sound Business Journal, 11.27.13) Ethan Stowell plans to open a small, ultra-high end restaurant, named Noyer, that will serve a tasting menu “with the best possible Northwest ingredients” with fixed wine pairings for $300 a person.
  • Cuisine En Locale takes over Anthony’s space in Somerville (Monica Jimenez, Wicked Local Somerville, 11.30.13) JJ Gonson is taking over Anthony’s in Somerville and planning to utilize the space to continue Cuisine En Locale’s catering business (which is committed to using the freshest produce and only local ingredients), host community meals, and provide activities and events for the neighborhood.

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, here is how some of our members’ take on Turkey Day.

With the holidays fast approaching, here are some examples of our members giving back:

  • Tony Maws Serves Up Thanksgiving Cheer (90.9 WBUR, 11.27.13) Listen to the radio story about how Tony Maws has maintained his tradition of cooking a full Thanksgiving meal for the firehouse across the street from his restaurant, Craigie on Main.
  • Chef Susan Feniger (Michelle McCarthy, Frontiers LA, 11.27.13) A profile of Susan Feniger reveals all the different organizations she supports and ways she gives back.

Inspired to give back? Support our work as we head into 2014 – a donation of any size makes a difference! Go to our Give to Chefs Collaborative page to contribute to our efforts.

And just in case you missed it…

Posted by: Chefs Collaborative

[VIDEO] Grass-fed Herb Burgers in The Chefs Collaborative Cookbook

With Thanksgiving upon us, we want to remind you that The Chefs Collaborative Cookbookauthored by Chefs Collaborative and Ellen Jackson and published by Taunton Press, is on the stands and it is a fantastic holiday gift option! It’s chock full of recipes from 115 member chefs. The cookbook has a ton of rich information for the home cooks in your lives, as well as gorgeous photos from Gentl + Hyers.

Chef Todd Hudson of The Wildflower Cafe and Coffeehouse in Mason, OH contributed to the cookbook. In this video, he shared his recipe for perfectly cooked Grass-Fed Beef Herb Burgers. Because it is extra lean, grass-fed ground beef is easier to overcook, but this method keeps burgers juicy. The simple blend of herbs compliments the char-grilled flavors and allows the fresh meat to stand on its own:

If you’re interested in buying 10+ cookbooks, we can also give you a serious discount! Contact us for more information.

Posted by: Hayley Fager

Weekly Member News Round-Up 11/18-24

Chefs Collaborative members do amazing work every day – check out our weekly members news link round-up to see what’s going on around the country:

  • Bites Book Club: Southern Hospitality (Chris Chamberlain, Nashville Scene Food Blog, 11.18.13) Anne Quatrano’s cookbook, “Summerland: Recipes for Celebrating with Southern Hospitality,” receives a glowing review and recognition for its dedication to the use of local ingredients, such as the ones sourced from Quatrano’s family farm.
  • Announcing the 2013 Eater Awards for Boston (Rachel Leah Blumenthal, Eater Boston, 11.18.13) The Eater Awards 2013 for Boston were announced, with jm Curley as a finalist for Restaurant of the Year, Tony Maws as a finalist for Chef of the Year, and The Kirkland Tap & Trotter as the winner of So Hot Right Now.
  • John Ash talks turkey (Diane Peterson, The Press Democrat, 11.19.13) John Ash offers Thanksgiving cooking advice and discusses his book, “Culinary Birds: The Ultimate Poultry Cookbook,” which includes tips on sourcing healthy poultry, guidelines for proper handling and storage, and over 170 recipes.
  • In One Ear: Greenhouse Project benefit at Cafe at Adele’s (Johnathan L. Wright, RGJ, 11.19.13) Mark Estee prepared a meal that celebrated ingredients from local farmers and producers at the Celebrity Chef Harvest Dinner to benefit the greenhouse and garden programs of Carson’s Greenhouse Project.
  • Oyster conference’s keynote speaker preaches disease and risk control (Eric McCarthy, The Journal Pioneer, 11.19.13) Sebastian Belle, the executive director of the Maine Aquaculture Association, touched on countless issues relating to sustainability in his keynote address, “Producing Environmentally Sustainable Seafood,” at the P.E.I Oyster Conference.
  • Thierry Rautureau set to open new downtown flagship (Rebekah Denn, The Seattle Times, 11.20.13) Thierry Rautureau will open Loulay on December 4th in downtown Seattle. The restaurant will serve contemporary versions of the country-style French food the chef grew up with, and Rautureau hopes it will have the volume to allow him to check a project off his wish list – hiring a full-time butcher to prepare the fish and meat.
  • Nothing Fishy About Rick Moonen’s New Licensing Program (Digital Journal, 11.20.13) Rick Moonen signed on with a licensing agency to develop a comprehensive line of sustainable fish and seafood products. A percentage of the proceeds from the sale of every item will be donated to a national charity working to end childhood hunger in America.
  • Chef Michael Anthony talks ‘The Gramercy Tavern Cookbook‘ (Kaylen Baker, San Francisco Bay Guardian, 11.20.13) Michael Anthony discusses his new cookbook that includes insights into his focus on seasonality and his penchant for creating original dishes out of local and healthful ingredients.
  • Nothing beets fall flavors at the Farmers Market (Shaun Smith, Shore News Today, 11.20.13) The Margate Community Farmers Market returned for a special Thanksgiving edition. Market organizer Cookie Till cites the public’s increased awareness about what farmers markets are all about as one of the incentives for creating this event that will feature fall produce.
  • Ad Hoc in Yountville still fresh and exciting (Michael Bauer, SFGate, 11.20.13) A review of Thomas Keller’s Ad Hoc refers to the use of ingredients that speak of Northern California as well as sourcing from the French Laundry garden when discussing why this restaurant is still fresh.
  • Bondir Concord restaurant opens Thursday (Wicked Local Concord, 11.21.13) Jason Bond officially opened Bondir Concord, which will feature a daily changing menu based on the availability and use of local and fresh produce, meat and fish.

Posted by: Chefs Collaborative

Member Spotlight: Shorewood High School Culinary Arts Program

This month we talked with Shorewood High School’s Culinary Arts program in Shoreline, Washington, to learn more about how a culinary education program for high school students puts sustainability into its curriculum. 


shorewood logoTell us about Shorewood High Schools Culinary Arts program. When and why did it start?

In 1990, Bev Anderson, Family and Consumer Science Education (FACSE) teacher inherited an industry-based foods class known as FEAST, Food Equipment and Service Training. Over the next two years this class transitioned
from a technically oriented program to a more expansive curriculum that featured not only food preparation skills and restaurant industry standards, but also made students aware of amazing opportunities in the food service and hospitality industries. As academic and vocational skills were blended, collegebound students with a passion for food also found their way into this class. Bob Short, the principal at Shorewood at the time, and Linda Thompson, the district Vocational Director recognized the value of expanding the program and incorporating a broader-based curriculum. There was terrific support at all levels for this program and, with that support; they were able to build an awardwinning program that gained recognition throughout the greater Seattle area.

How many students are involved in the Culinary Arts program?

Currently there are 25 students enrolled in the program. Although Culinary Arts
is more professionally focused, we offer it as an elective to the general student population, classes that focus on Food and Nutrition and Cuisines and Cultures. These classes focus on how to make quality, nutritious food at home while incorporating the diversity of the world we live in.

Who are the teachers?

Diana Dillard is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America. Her chef experience includes positions as Executive Sous chef for The Club Corporation of America in Miami, Chef tournant at Fuller’s in The Seattle Sheraton, and owner/executive chef of Rain City Grill in Seattle. While she owned and operated Rain City Grill, it was voted one of the city’s top five restaurants. She participated in the first-ever chef’s exchange with the former Soviet Union, during which she prepared meals for U.S. and Soviet ambassadors. Diana taught professional culinary arts courses at Seattle Culinary Academy before coming to Shorewood High School.
Wendy Jordan is a graduate of The Culinary Institute of America. She is new to Shorewood High School, yet brings with her a wealth of experience. She recently relocated to the Seattle area with her family from Las Vegas, where for 12 years, she and her husband, owned and operated Rosemary’s Restaurant. Wendy has also been chef/owner of her own catering company, and taught at Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts for 7 years. She is currently teaching at Seattle Culinary Academy part-time and Shorewood High School as a paraeducator.

How do they include sustainable practices in their curriculum?
students garden
Our Culinary Arts program created a culinary garden in collaboration with the Master Gardeners program of Washington State University’s Cooperative
Extension. Our students participate in the planning, planting, nurturing and use of the garden. They are introduced in a hands-on way to the understanding of
where their food comes from and they will carry this with them as they move on to culinary schools, college and the working world. Our program operates a catering business, which is open to the public, and items from the garden are utilized whenever possible. We also foster monthly guest chef dinners, which focus on the use of the culinary garden as well as meats and seafood that are
sustainably raised.

How have the students reacted to the program’s sustainability focus?

Many of our students have grown up in a climate of sustainability without realizing it. Seattle is a very progressive city that supports P-Patch community gardens, and numerous organizations that support healthy food education. But for those who this is not the norm, our sustainability practices are eye opening. One of the goals of the program is to combine the art of creating menus with preparing foods featuring local, seasonal items and preservation techniques. Utilization is another goal that inspires their creativity. We throw nothing away, introducing the students to our composting system in the garden, and canning garden items to sell at our annual Farmer’s Market. The students react with interest and excitement as they learn this new way of thinking and participate in selling at the market.

What do you still have to conquer?

Our program’s biggest task to conquer is the state of our Culinary Arts garden. Shorewood High School recently moved into a new building and our beautiful, well-established garden, had to be uprooted and will be paved over. We are basically starting over, applying for grants and trying to raise the money to begin again. We have tremendous support in regards to the physical labor, now we just need the funding.

What is next for the program?

student cookWe are currently working on increasing our enrollment for Culinary Arts, in order to offer Culinary Arts I and II. We want to focus the class towards transferable work-place skills such as basic cooking techniques and knife skills and then move them into applying leadership, teamwork, and problem solving skills. To do this, we invite local chefs to Shorewood to feature “Chef Dinners” which give students the experience of working with the best chefs in our city and learning both “front of the house” and “back of the house” skills. This sometimes leads to internships for our students at Seattle restaurants where chefs recognize the students’ level of technical proficiency and allow them to experience professional restaurant kitchens while earning wages and learning invaluable skills. We have also received approval for a new textbook and we are interested in using their companion software, MyCulinaryLab. This is a great way to incorporate technology into our Culinary Arts classroom.

Why is Shorewood High School a member of Chefs Collaborative?

Both of the chef instructors are industry professionals and have past experience and passion for Chefs Collaborative, as well as other industry based organizations. The value these organizations provide to the individual is paramount as they translate the over load of information and politics surrounding food today, into a format that is usable and understandable. We want the students to get a taste of their benefits through membership. The Seattle chapter of Chefs Collaborative has gone above and beyond, to help involve our
students. They offer scholarships to many to attend the meet and greet/educational events, taking into account their families’ current financial limitations.

What are some of the student’s favorite ingredients that were new to work with?

Lacinato kale, McEwen & Sons grits – Alabama, tarragon, taro root, celeriac, pomegranite, and fresh pasta.

Anything Else?
students make ravioli
Students in our SW program gain not only competency in culinary skills, but also a sense of being a part of a very valued and esteemed program. Several graduates of Shorewood Culinary Arts, many with college degrees, have continued in the industry, becoming Executive Chefs in Seattle.

Posted by: Chefs Collaborative