Posts by

Vera Chang

In certain circles, some farmers are as famous as rock stars. Bon Appétit Farm to Fork partner Al Courchesne of Frog Hollow Farm in Brentwood, CA, is one of them. Renowned Berkeley, CA, restaurateur Alice Waters has been known to serve his O’Henry peaches, Rainier cherries, Goldensweet apricots, and Warren pears unadorned for dessert at Chez Panisse. To learn why, I organized a tour of Al’s farm along with a group of 50 faculty members, staff, students, and Bon Appétit Sous Chef Cheylin Hale from Mills College in Oakland, CA.

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For a special fundraiser for the Seattle Art Museum on Friday, November 4, Bon Appétit’s TASTE Restaurant team worked with internationally renowned chef Mario Batali. Projected to raise $300,000 for the Seattle Art Museum, this extraordinary epicurean event featured a family-style dinner with Batali as well as a panel discussion among Batali; Thierry Rautureau, The Chef in the Hat™; and Steve Pool of KOMO News. Guests enjoyed signature Batali dinner platters, hors d’oeuvres, and desserts. TASTE’s menu was designed to bring Batali back to the Northwest, where he grew up, drawing ingredients from farms close by.

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The Eat Local Challenge has become one of my favorite celebrations each year. While many of our usual holidays come with prescribed dishes, such as turkey and stuffing for Thanksgiving, brisket and matzoh ball soup for Passover, and cookies topped with red and green sprinkles for Christmas, the Eat Local Challenge menu is always different […]

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Why does Duncan Chase like working as lead bartender at Bon Appétit Management Company’s TASTE Restaurant? He says because hereally gets to have fun and be creative with the drinks he makes. At the Seattle Chef’s Collaborative Seasonal Cocktails Meet & Greet, hosted at the Mistral Kitchen Patio Rooftop recently, I got to try Duncan’s […]

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Recently at Seattle University, Bon Appétit Management Company and Slow Food Seattle cosponsored a free showing of the new documentary Vanishing of the Bees, which was directed by George Langworthy and Maryam Heinen and narrated by actress Ellen Page. An astonishing 350 people attended the showing and the panel discussion with local beekeepers that followed.

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I eagerly returned for this summer’s eighth annual trip with other Bon Appétit staff to visit and dine with Shepherd’s Grain farmers in Washington State. On our excursion to Eastern Washington, Bon Appétit chefs, managers, and I visited the Spokane Hutterian Brethren Colony in Reardan, WA, where the Grosses, Hofers, and Walters uphold their collective 460-plus-year family tradition in farming, growing crops on 9,000 acres and living a self-sufficient lifestyle. I love this trip because – like many conscientious eaters today – I like to know where my food comes from. It’s a rare treat to be among 75 farmers and chefs who put the meaning of their work so eloquently into words.

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Five tips for aspiring farmers on creating socially just farms, from Jim Cochran and Sandy Brown of California’s Swanton Berry farm, the “poster farm” of the fair-food movement.

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TASTE Restaurant Pasty Chef Lucy Damkoehler speaks with the Chef’s Collaborative about her doughnuts Lucy Damkoehler began baking way back in fifth grade, when she would help her father knead and shape dough for bread as a hobby. She’s now a distinguished pastry chef for Bon Appétit Management Company’s TASTE Restaurant in Seattle, where her […]

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The conditions that farmworkers face in the everyday course of trying to do their jobs are grueling, often dangerous, and sometimes even abusive. It’s the age-old “if a tree falls in the forest” riddle: if these problems are invisible to most Americans, do they really exist? The answer is yes, of course they do. And I am proud to have worked on a 65-page report about farmworker employment issues that documents them.

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By Vera Chang, West Coast Fellow for Bon Appétit Management Company Foundation An art project in Cornish Cafe by a sculpture student Written in honor of a creating a more peaceful world through eating alongside one another and low carbon choices  When you combine an arts school and a socially responsible food services company, the […]

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