Start a Local Group


What is a Local Group?

Local Groups are the heart and soul of Chefs Collaborative. They are a geographic community of current and prospective Members who are interested in connections and becoming a bigger part of building a better food system. Local Groups 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.

What does it mean to be a Local Leader?

Starting (and leading!) a Local Group 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 current and prospective Members into an 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.


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

We highly recommend 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, field trips, etc.) throughout the year to inspire and educate fellow Members

    • Out of those 3 gatherings, at least 1 must be a Chefs Collaborative programmatic event (i.e. Meat Matters, Seafood Solutions, What Waste) that incorporates a fundraising component for the organization

    • Additionally fundraise for Chefs Collaborative by referring new Members to the organization
  • Communicate and Participate

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

    • Communicate regularly with the National Team about local efforts, which will then be amplified on social media
    • Facilitate communications with Members in the Local Group

    • Actively engage on social media by tagging Chefs Collaborative and using #ChangeMenusChangeLives

    • Participate in the Annual Chefs Collaborative Summit, our core community gathering

Local Leaders Receive

  • Local Leaders who reach certain fundraising goals will receive a complimentary or discounted pass to the Annual Chefs Collaborative Summit

  • Each Local Group will receive (1) complimentary pass to the Annual Chefs Collaborative Summit for every $5,000 raised for Chefs Collaborative scholarship and education programs.

  • Regular administrative and marketing support from the National Team


After you apply, we’ll follow up to discuss next steps. 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


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