What Waste

Details for What Waste events are now available here.

Click here to find a Member who is building a better food system in your area.

From our Chefs Collaborative Statement of Principles:

  • Food is fundamental to life, nourishing us in body and soul. The preparation of food strengthens our connection to nature. And the sharing of food immeasurably enriches our sense of community.
  • Cultural and biological diversity are essential for the health of the earth and its inhabitants. Preserving and revitalizing sustainable food, fishing, and agricultural traditions strengthen that diversity.
  • By continually educating themselves about sustainable choices, chefs can serve as models to the culinary community and the general public through their purchases of seasonal, sustainable ingredients and their transformation of these ingredients into delicious food.
  • The greater culinary community can be a catalyst for positive change by creating a market for good food and helping preserve local farming and fishing communities.

What Waste:

  • Chefs and food professionals have long championed minimizing food loss and food waste. Examples include changing purchasing habits to minimize waste, improving communications with producers to minimize loss, purchasing seconds and commonly overlooked meat and seafood, utilizing as much as possible in creative ways, ensuring as little as possible is left at the end of use, and ensuring those small amounts go to great uses.
  • We all have a role we can play by changing our behaviors, purchasing habits, preparation techniques, and how we think about and approach scraps and surplus. Instead of looking at the end result problem as “food waste,” let’s start at the beginning and call it #WhatWaste.
  • Chefs and food professionals have enormous buying power, and this power means that what they choose to buy for their restaurants and businesses can help accelerate progress on this important issue.

What we’re doing about it:

Through the What Waste initiative, Chefs Collaborative seeks to transform the conversation about food waste from problems to solutions. In partnership with the new documentary film WASTED! The Story of Food Waste and the Whole Crop Harvest research and education project at North Carolina State University, Chefs Collaborative will host and partake in a series of national events, film screenings, collaborative dinners, a social media campaign and critical research to accelerate change in building a better food system through minimizing food loss and food waste. Follow and join in the conversation using #WhatWaste on social, and learn and engage through the resources and events below.

Let’s change the conversation from Food Waste to #WhatWaste.


Click here for details on Chefs Collaborative Wasted! screenings, Member appearances and more!


Join us online using #WhatWaste to show how you’re helping build a better food system.

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  • NRDC
  • ReFED
  • Food Tank
  • CHEF POWER HOUR: Listen to our August 2016 Chef Power Hour podcast to learn how chefs can tackle food waste in the professional kitchen, featuring: Dana Gunders (Natural Resources Defense Council), Katherine Miller (James Beard Foundation), Danielle Nierenberg (Food Tank), chef Steven Satterfield (Miller Union, Chefs Collaborative Local Leader), and Betsy Barrett (Food Policy Action). This Chef Power Hour was sponsored by Greener Fields Together.