The weekend of November 3-5, Boston-based nonprofit Chefs Collaborative hosts “Looking Back, Cooking Forward, 2013 National Sustainable Food Summit” in the Holy City, and the event promises some of the most exciting speakers and cutting-edge discussions in cooking today.
“Our focus is on helping make sustainable practices second nature for chefs,” says Melissa Kogut, executive director for Chefs Collaborative. To that end, each year the organization picks a different forward-thinking food city—Seattle in 2012, New Orleans in 2011—and gathers chefs, restaurateurs, and purveyors to talk farm-to-table practices.
This year’s stars include keynote speaker Bill McKibben, who wrote Oil and Honey: The Education of an Unlikely Activist. In addition, Paul Greenberg, author of Four Fish: The Future of the Last Wild Food (which Sam Sifton called “A necessary book for anyone truly interested in what we take from the sea to eat”) will discuss GMOs, while Barry Estabrook, James Beard Award-winner for best blog 2011 for his “Politics of the Plate,” will lead a seminar on the high price of hog.
Charleston’s own Sean Brock will discuss the future of food with cookbook authors Michael Ruhlman and Kim Severson.
“We picked Charleston because there is so much going on local food-wise with nods to the past and the future,” says Michael Leviton, chef/owner of Newton, Massachusetts Lumière restaurant and board chair of Chefs Collaborative. The weekend, Leviton says, is meant to inspire and motivate. “All the content we’ll discuss is interesting, but the way we move and change minds is through the power of community. We’ll have nearly 400 like-minded people who are passionate about doing what they do the right way.” To learn more, visit www.chefscollaborative.org.