Boston Local Food Festival

Presented by Sustainable Business Network of Massachusetts

Flavors of a Foodshed

The Chefs Collaborative inspires chefs to achieve new heights of sustainable cuisine

 While ‘farm-to-table’ or ‘sustainability’ are words used a lot these days, only a fraction of the food this country is produced using sustainable methods. It’s hard for even professional chefs to get responsibly produced ingredients and apply the proper techniques for preparing them. The Chefs Collaborative is a nonprofit, national network of chefs that’s changing the sustainable food landscape by using the power of connections, education, and responsible buying decisions. Its 12,000 members are mainly chefs, food professionals, writers, and activists who are “already on the path,” says Melissa Kogut of the Chefs Collaborative—having embraced the mission to make their kitchens more sustainable.

One of the principles of the Chefs Collaborative is that chefs can serve as models to the culinary community by continually educating themselves on sustainable choices. Getting chefs out of the kitchen and into the classroom is a challenge, but it’s one that its membership embraces. “A lot of our chefs think we expect 100% compliance or not at all, and that’s not how we feel,” says Kogut. “Building a sustainable kitchen is an ongoing process, not a destination.”

In the Boston area, Chefs Collaborative skill-building sessions have included lessons on fish at Red’s Best Seafood, at which member chefs learned to butcher different sizes and types of fish, and a grass-fed beef tasting featuring Archer Angus beef from Chesterville ME. The Chefs Collaborative next plans to focus its education efforts on managing the costs of using locally and sustainably produced meat.

On the organization’s website, Chef vs. Chef both challenges and connects members, by inviting them to share sustainable and traditional techniques and practices from their restaurant kitchens. Visitors to the site can learn from three chefs to scale and fillet their own fish from head to tail and how to buy the freshest local varieties available.

Local eaters can take their own sustainable steps in revolutionizing their eating practices, one change at a time: taking an overfished variety of seafood off their menus, or visiting the farmer’s market more often. While some Chefs Collaborative members will still be recovering from their annual Sustainable Food Summit in Seattle, Melissa Kogut and local chefs will be in attendance at this year’s Boston Local Food Festival in October, finding new food inspiration of their own.

Find inspiration on Sunday, October 7 at the third annual Boston Local Food Festival.

 This post was written by  Justin Cascio of Justin Cooks, go check him out!

Posted by: Nicola on September 26, 2012 @ 1:40 am
Filed under: Blog,Boston Local Food Festival