Chef's Collaborative

Tabs group

Program Overview

Chefs Collaborative was founded in 1993 by a group of visionary chefs – including John Ash, Rick Bayless, Susan Feniger, Nobu Matsuhisa, Nora Pouillon, Michael Romano, and Alice Waters – at the Oldways International Symposium in Hawaii called “Food Choices 2000.” A key topic of conversation was the emerging public role of chefs and the understanding that chefs could help educate their restaurant guests and the larger community about foods that can benefit the planet, our health, and our society. The declaration the founders wrote at that meeting traveled around the country and was signed by chefs in every state. The goal was to support small farms, healthy food, and sustainable agriculture for everyone. Chefs Collaborative showed America that sustainably produced food is not only good for us and the environment—it is also a delicious pleasure.


Chefs Collaborative works to fix our broken food system by engaging chefs in a network that inspires and educates them to change how they source, cook, and serve food.

Statement of Principles

  • Food is fundamental to life, nourishing us in body and soul. The preparation of food strengthens our connection to nature. And the sharing of food immeasurably enriches our sense of community.

  • Good food begins with unpolluted air, land, and water, environmentally sustainable farming and fishing, and humane animal husbandry.

  • Food choices that emphasize delicious, locally grown, seasonally fresh, and whole or minimally processed ingredients are good for us, for local farming communities, and for the planet.

  • Cultural and biological diversity are essential for the health of the earth and its inhabitants. Preserving and revitalizing sustainable food, fishing, and agricultural traditions strengthen that diversity.

  • By continually educating themselves about sustainable choices, chefs can serve as models to the culinary community and the general public through their purchases of seasonal, sustainable ingredients and their transformation of these ingredients into delicious food.

  • The greater culinary community can be a catalyst for positive change by creating a market for good food and helping preserve local farming and fishing communities.


As a result of our work, sustainability is second nature in the greater culinary community. Chefs Collaborative creates powerful opportunities for chefs to connect, learn and make changes in the way they source, cook and serve food in three ways:

What Chef's Collaborative Does

  • Trash Fish Dinners. Since early 2013 Chefs Collaborative has been holding Trash Fish Dinners around the country to bring attention to undervalued and underutilized species of fish. Chefs Collaborative encourages chefs and diners to focus on fish that have historically been left off menus to help to take pressure off of overfished species, and help support our fishing communities.

  • The Chefs Collaborative Sustainable Food Summit. This annual gathering brings hundreds of chefs and food professionals together from across the country to share ideas and get inspired. It is a chance to connect in-person with community members that share a commitment to help fix America’s broken food system.

  • Local Networks (“Locals”). Locals bring chefs together who want to make a difference in their immediate communities. Every change made on restaurant and foodservice menus can change minds and work to transform the larger food system.

Supplier Partners
Participating Partners