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~Written by Carolina Fojo, East Coast Fellow for Bon Appétit Mgmt. Co.    This past Friday I drove to visit Katherine and Sam Ecker of Legacy Manor Farm in Boonsboro, MD, which is about an hour north of D.C. After having been warned in an email not to dress up because “we really are free range which means plenty of poop”, I donned my rubber rain boots (the ones with the little blue whales on them), a pair of jeans, and made the trek out to the farm. And Legacy Manor Farm definitely did not disappoint me in the free range department—Katherine wasn’t kidding! In fact, on the driveway leading up to the farm, I had to stop my car—twice…once for a pair of turkeys that didn’t seem to understand  that I couldn’t move until they moved, and then once again […]

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“And the floors shall be full of wheat, and the vats shall overflow with wine and oil.”  –Joel 2:24 Once upon a time, Idaho, Washington, and Oregon farmer families began settling on the land. In 1840, the Emersons made it across the Oregon Trail. In 1897 pregnant Grandmother Matson climbed up and over 2000 feet in elevation to her Washington homestead. With roots in Switzerland, Romania, Ukraine, Canada, and the Pacific Northwest, the extended Gross-Hofers-Walter family has been in the business of farming for 460 years. Shepherd’s Grain is the story of 33 farm families, 65,000 acres, and their transformation of the land to sustainable agriculture. Right: Shepherd’s Grain Grower, Kurt Blume from Genesee, ID It’s the end of a hot July. I stand alongside Bon Appétit Management Company chefs and managers at the edge of a Hard Red Winter Wheat field. We are surrounded by […]

Silky Sea Palms (seaweed) and California Kombu (kelp) This summer, Director of Specialty Culinary Programs Jim Dodge and longtime Bon Appétit friend and author Raghavan Iyer toured the country to help host Bon Appétit Management Company’s Vegan Chef Trainings. I joined the Northern California Training, held at eBay’s headquarters in San Jose. It was a fun and flavorful affair! It was especially exciting to see the variety of ingredients with which Bon Appétit chefs cook. Many, such as seaweed, house-made seitan, and nut butters, are less mainstream but nonetheless nutritious and delicious. In this post, I include two of my favorite recipes from the Training. Please enjoy and let us know what you think!

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In February I visited George Jones Farm in Ohio, which works closely with Bon Appétit Management Company at Oberlin College. The farm, constantly looking for new innovations, is doing a lot of cool stuff—including using brew waste (from beer) for compost, and using compost for hot showers! In this video, one of the George Jones farmers describes their exciting compost projects. ~Posted by Carolina Fojo, East Coast Fellow for Bon Appétit Mgmt. Co.

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As the East Coast Fellow for Bon Appétit Management Company, I spent this past semester traveling to colleges and talking to different people about food sustainability. On the way, I met many of the people who actually imagine and create the food that we eat–our chefs. So here's a little tribute to them. Enjoy! ~Posted by Carolina Fojo, East Coast Fellow for Bon Appétit Mgmt. Co.

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   What, indeed? Well, Peter Murrey, a junior at Washington University in St. Louis (featured above), didn’t seem to think there was anything more appropriate. He was one among many students who decided to celebrate Earth Day 2010 in a bang-out fashion. In fact, seventeen different WashU organizations banded together for a day-long celebration that had everything from face painting and cotton candy to a film screening of Food, Inc. to a presentation about food sustainability by a recent WashU alum (yours truly!). Bon Appétit was also showcasing how to eat a Low Carbon Diet throughout the day, adding to the festivities. WashU has undergone a lot of transformations in the “green” department since I started out as a freshman there five years ago, and this was the biggest Earth Day celebration I’ve seen yet. I’m looking forward to an […]

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The Harned Family, Three Sisters Farm By Vera Chang, West Coast Fellow, Bon Appétit Management Company Foundation Since I attended the 2010 Eco Farm Conference session, “Is Small the Only Beautiful?” I have reflected on this question. My headed turned from side to side during the closing plenary as Eliot Coleman and Gary Hirschberg spoke, two East Coasters with contrary farming philosophies. Coleman is an organic farmer, author, and proponent of small-scale farming while Hirschberg is the Stonyfield Farm CEO and proponent of offering large-scale support for organic production. A couple of weeks ago, I drove through California’s Central Valley, a 450 mile region home to California’s most productive agriculture. The area is dominated by large-scale agriculture. It is not uncommon for a single farm to be several thousand acres. Collectively grossing $27 billion in revenues last year, the Central Valley provides roughly […]

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April 8, 2010 Washington D.C.   As I travel along the East Coast, giving presentations about “The Story Behind the Food” that we eat, every audience is different. Some are wide-eyed and silent, asking few questions. Some have seen “Food, Inc.”, or read The Omnivore’s Dilemma, and are eager to learn more. And then some groups are all about asking challenging questions. These groups are typically made up of individuals who are very passionate about food issues, and are excited to learn about what Bon Appétit is doing to create change, but are not afraid to challenge us either.   I recently went to such a college—I was invited to speak as part of the Green Lecture Series at Gallaudet University, school for the deaf and hard of hearing in Washington D.C. And I as I gave the presentation I’ve […]

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March 23-24, 2010 Boston, MA   Do you know how many tomatoes a Florida farmworker has to pick in order to fill one 32-lb bucket? Do you know how many buckets Florida farmworkers have to fill in an hour in order to make the FL minimum wage?   These were the questions I asked students at Emmanuel College (Boston, MA) and Lesley University (Cambridge, MA) to answer during a recent visit. As students poured through the doors of the café, pushing past each other and trying to beat the lunch lines, I stood by the entrance shouting “Answer two quick questions and win a free pizza party!” And I was happy to learn that even though I’m almost a full year out of college, some things haven’t changed: students still love pizza, (especially when it’s free :0)   The purpose […]

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   By Vera Chang, West Coast Fellow, Bon Appétit Management Company Foundation Here is my latest piece on our Triple Pundit business of sustainable agriculture series: When Commodities Traders See Tomato Pickers in Action. It’s about the Student Farmworker Alliance and Farmworker Rights Workshop I participated in at Strengthening the Roots: Food and Justice Convergence.