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Much is made of the importance of eating organic, community-supported, farm-to-table cuisine, but for many chefs across the country, sustainable choices are difficult to make, oftentimes simply because of a lack of information. Chefs Collaborative, however, a nonprofit organization, is committed to educating culinary industry professionals on how to best purchase ingredients, partner with vendors and plan menus in an effort to help them offer the most-wholesome meals possible.
Founded 20 years ago on the basis that food should be “local, sustainable [and] delicious,” Chefs Collaborative celebrates the natural beauty of seasonal selections and believes that food tastes better when it’s intelligently grown and responsibly sourced. This network of more than 12,000 chefs, restaurateurs, culinary experts and business specialists, among them kitchen superstars Michael Anthony and Bill Telepan from Manhattan’s Gramercy Tavern and Telepan Restaurants, respectively, has teamed up not to merely tell their peers a right way to buy and prepare their food, but instead to give them the tools and resources to do so efficiently in ways that make sense for them. Part of their mission is to “build a strong membership base of hundreds of members across the country,” and, in doing so, begin a nationwide conversation about making sustainability a key focus for chefs everywhere.
To help show how accessible “local, sustainable [and] delicious” food is, more than 115 members of the organization created The Chefs Collaborative Cookbook: Local, Sustainable, Delicious Recipes From America’s Great Chefs, which features fresh, smart and simple meals to make from scratch. FN Dish was on hand this week as several of the book’s contributors came together at a launch event in New York City, preparing some of the signature dishes featured in the book, including Chef Anthony’s Asparagus Salad With Quinoa (pictured right). Although this cookbook is written by some of the finest chefs in country, the recipes are indeed easy enough to make at home, many with everyday products and produce you likely already have in the pantry and refrigerator. Its goal is to teach the industry and home cooks alike about where food comes from and how it makes its way to them, while, of course, inspiring deliciously classic dishes.