Blog: Local food

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At the Second Annual North vs. South Champion Chef Competition hosted by Bon Appétit at Washington University in St. Louis last month, competitors from opposite sides of campus came out in honor of Bon Appétit’s Low Carbon Diet Day and competed in an Iron Chef-style competition with a focus on low carbon cooking. (Read more about what that entails here). Composed of BAMCO chefs and student sous chefs, each team had exactly 30 minutes to cook the most delicious, low carbon meal for a panel of expert judges, which included area chefs from Winslow’s Home and Eclipse Restaurant, as well as Ligaya Figueras of Sauce, St. Louis’ premier culinary magazine.

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The grilled-cheese sandwich has come a long way; long gone are the days of butter-soaked white bread embracing a slice of American cheese. Entire restaurants dedicated to this comfort food have spring up. Recently, the Bon Appétit Cisco team in San Jose joined the celebration by highlighting the melty goodness of a well-made artisan grilled cheese in the cafés.

By Sarah McGowan, Marketing Manager The new student-run Duke Campus Farm at Duke University in Durham, NC, broke ground in early 2011 with great promise. After a full year of planning, students began with a February work party and the following mission: “To educate the student body on sustainable farming practices, increase Duke’s sustainability, and reconnect our generation with its food.” Starting a farm is one thing, but making it self-sustaining is another. The farm was initiated by students, who organized a feasibility study with Duke Environmental Sciences and Policy Professor Charlotte Clark’s “Food and Energy” class. The students researched the economics of the project, including details like space requirements, cost of production and maintenance, and crop sales. That’s where Bon Appétit came in. The students worked with Resident District Manager Nate Peterson and Marketing Manager Sarah McGowan on a […]

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Something magical is happening at Oberlin College in Oberlin, OH. No matter how small or dark or drafty the location, the vegetables and herbs planted by Bon Appétit Sous Chef Chris Brunst just keep growing and growing, producing food for Dascomb Café.

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While Bon Appétit makes a big fuss on Low Carbon Diet Day to call our diners’ attention to the five foundations of a planet-friendlier diet, our chefs practice these principles every day. Whether it’s Monday or Wednesday, patrons can always find plenty of locally sourced, vegetarian options or dishes with meat such as chicken and pork, which come from lower methane-emitting animals than cows.

What’s the shortest route to a reporter’s heart? Through her stomach of course! We believe the best way to deliver the fundamental Bon Appétit story, that we cook everything from scratch using fresh, often local, as-sustainable- as-possible ingredients, is to feed it to people — literally. To that end, we invited a select group of local media and VIPs and Diet for a Hot Planet author Anna Lappé to join us for an informal discussion over dinner cooked by one of our stellar teams. Anna is one of the leaders of the food movement — she was born into it, as the daughter of Frances Moore Lappé, whose 1971 book Diet for a Small Planet became a best-seller and the first handbook for eco-conscious eaters everywhere. Anna interviewed Bon Appétit Management Company Foundation Director Helene York for her own book. […]

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Industrial-scale agriculture often exacts a steep human cost. That was one of the lessons I learned last week from farmer Bob Knight and farmworker Marco Franco of the Inland Orange Conservancy, Bon Appétit at the University of Redland’s first Farm to Fork partner. They were the guest speakers at one of our Stories from the Fields events, held at the University Club.

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By Carolina Fojo, East Coast Fellow for Bon Appétit Management Company Foundation In this video, Katherine Ecker gives me a tour of Legacy Manor Farm, where animals don’t just roam the pasture, they roam the driveway, the house…and anywhere they want! One hen insists on laying her eggs in the back of Katherine’s car, and the Eckers have woken up to find a horse standing on their front porch. As part of our Farm to Fork program begun in 1999, Bon Appétit Management Company purchases fresh, seasonal produce from small, local farmers around the country. We recently celebrated the milestone of 1,000 such suppliers. As a Fellow for Bon Appétit, I get to travel to these different farms and learn about the joys and challenges farmers today face — and share their stories.