Start a Local Group



What is a Local group?

Local groups are the heart and soul of Chefs Collaborative. Locals promote Chefs Collaborative’s Mission and Principles through a range of Member-led activities, including: collaborative dinners and fundraisers, field trips to local food businesses, hands-on workshops, speaking events, and networking events.

If you don’t see a Local group in your neck of the woods, we encourage you to start a Local near you! Before you get started, please check our list of Local groups to make sure that a Local in your area does not already exist. If one does, then you can connect with that group! If there is no Local near you, read on to learn how to start one.

Please read through the below and consider whether this is the right fit for you.

What does it mean to be a Local Leader?

Starting (and leading!) a Local is very rewarding! Local Leaders are chefs and/or food professionals who exhibit a demonstrated alignment with, and commitment to, Chefs Collaborative values in their business operations. Local Leaders also have a demonstrated leadership ability, including the ability to recruit and rally at least 5 Members – either new or current – into a organized Local group. Passionate, committed leaders who make running their Local a priority inspire and sustain our most successful Locals.

Who can start a Local group?

  • Current Members of Chefs Collaborative, who have been Members for at least 6+ months.


  • Leaders of like-minded chef or culinary organizations that want to connect and align with Chefs Collaborative. (eg: Hudson Valley Chef Network, Piedmont Culinary Guild, etc.)

We highly recommended organizing a Local group with a friend or colleague! Some of our most successful Locals have co-Leaders.

Local Leader expectations

  • Organize!

    • 3 gatherings (eg: happy hours, workshops etc.) throughout the year, preferably once a season, to inspire and educate fellow Members

    • 1 public fundraising event to celebrate Members who individually and collectively are working to create a better food system (eg: Meat Matters events, Trash Fish Dinners, other Member-led events)

  • Communicate and Participate!

    • Dial in for quarterly Local Leader conference calls to connect, share and learn from Local Leaders across the country

    • Join and actively participate in our Members-only Facebook group

    • Share Local news updates and photos with the national team on a monthly basis, so we can help promote and amplify your voices and activities

    • Participate in Chefs Collaborative’s national Sustainable Food Summit, our core community gathering (Local Leaders receive a complimentary pass)

Local Leaders receive

  • Local Leaders receive a complimentary pass to our Annual Sustainable Food Summit

  • Each Local group will receive (1) complimentary pass to our Annual Sustainable Food Summit for every $10,000 raised for Chefs Collaborative scholarship and education programs.


After you apply, we’ll follow up within two weeks to discuss next steps. If your application is approved, we’ll also send you the information you need to get organizing in your area. Thank you again for your interest and engagement with Chefs Collaborative!


“Chefs Collaborative Local groups allow chefs to have an open forum for discussion and learning. The conversations and [relationships] that are made can forge change and growth in your own community and facilitate a deeper connection in the food community.” – Chef Steven Satterfield, Executive Chef/Co-Owner, Miller Union, Atlanta co-Local Leader

“I was inspired to start a Local group in Colorado to help inspire and educate chefs in my local community about responsible food sourcing. Knowing where your food comes from affects the way in which you serve it within a restaurant, and I think our work with Chefs Collaborative has already affected change in my state.” – Chef Kelly Whitaker, Chef/Owner, Basta and Cart-driver, Denver Local Leader