Chefs’ Consortium is exactly that – a consortium made up of professional chefs, bakers, food writers, photographers and individuals who have a passion for local food. Our members work as a team to educate people about the food that is being grown in their community – where to find it and how to prepare it. We come from all over the northeast – the Hudson River Valley, New York City, Albany, Massachusetts and Connecticut. Each member brings their own unique skills and philosophy to the table. Our collective talents have leveraged our organization into a progressive educational model for local food advocacy and sustainability.
While we initially met each other at various “locavore” events and recognized a common bond – local food – it was at a Bannerman’s Island fundraiser five years ago that we joined forces and harnessed our respective talents to serve a five course meal to 50 guests with no running water, electricity or even an oven at our disposal. The dinner was a success and the collaborative synergy led the way for many new partnerships and special events. Today events are scheduled throughout the year and always focus on celebrating local food in local communities and teaching people how to cook with local ingredients. These include cooking demonstrations in school gardens, healthy cooking classes, farmers’ market demonstrations, fundraisers and farm-to-table events with like-minded non-profit organizations.
Today Chefs’ Consortium operates as a not-for-profit based LLC that caters farm-to-table events with the participation of our chef members. We are also actively involved in developing educational programs for all ages. Our programs have a positive long-term impact on the decisions people make about the food they consume, by helping them to discover the benefits of cooking with local food and adopting a healthier lifestyle in the process.
As chefs and local food advocates, we believe it’s important to enrich our communities with ideas about how eating affects every aspect of our food system – from sourcing, to distribution, to cooking, to economic regeneration and the wellness of ourselves and future generations.
Chefs’ Consortium can create re-training seminars, workshops, and conferences that teach food service professionals, and non-food service professionals alike, the ins and outs of sustainably focused food systems. We conduct garden preservation workshops that show people how to preserve the bounty of gardens through techniques that include blanching and freezing, hot canning, lacto-fermentation, seed saving, herb drying, and pesto making. We also work with institutional kitchen staffs to show them how to cook from scratch, source food locally, and establish intensive recycling and composting programs.