Eat & Drink

A Chefs Boot Camp for Policy and Change

An opportunity for civically and politically minded chefs to become effective leaders for food-system change.

The Chefs Boot Camp for Policy and Change provides a unique opportunity for civically and politically minded chefs to become more effective leaders for food-system change. During thematic retreats around the country, participants receive advocacy and media training while learning about important issues, challenges, and opportunities facing the food world. The goal is to build a growing network of like-minded chefs, provide support for personal interests and passions, and give tools and guidance that will help them act as influential advocates.

“Now, with the leadership of the James Beard Foundation, chefs have even more of an opportunity to become educated and empowered to help advocate for the change we have spent our careers striving for. I have yet another reason to be a chef: because I want to create a food system in which it is a right, not a privilege, for everyone on the planet to enjoy healthy, sustainable food.”

–Maria Hines, JBF Award–winning chef of Golden Beetle and Tilth in Seattle

Each gathering of Chefs Boot Camp encompasses:

  • A geographically, culturally, and demographically diverse group of 15 chefs
  • A unique destination to facilitate group cohesion
  • Policy and media training by industry and political experts on specific food-system topics
  • Hands-on activities that engage chefs with local natural resources, such as harvesting and visits to local farms, slaughterhouses, fisheries, and other producers
  • A collaborative dinner prepared by the participating chefs
  • Educational sessions about pressing food-system topics, such as the Farm Bill or sustainable fisheries
  • Exposure to campaigns of partner organizations, such as the Pew Charitable Trusts’ campaign against antibiotic overuse in livestock
  • Strategic brainstorming about effective action points and next steps.

The James Beard Foundation accepts applications for Chefs Boot Camp on a rolling basis.

As we know, it all comes back to food. And generosity. And youth. And waste. And trust. And equity.


By The Editors

We're on your wavelength.