Seeking out small-scale producers and building regional foodsheds
To help meet our goal of supporting 1,000 Farm to Fork suppliers by the end of 2010 (which we surpassed!), we created several dedicated “forager” positions within Bon Appétit — the first national food-service company to do so.
Our chefs have always considered it part of their jobs to seek out the best, most flavorful, local ingredients, and Farm to Fork has been embedded in our operating philosophy since 1999. The 15 foragers — drawn from Bon Appétit’s chefs and managers — are located in each of the different regions of the country that Bon Appétit serves. They are tasked with discovering the best small-scale farmers and food producers in their regions and working to bring their wares into cafés in every account served by Bon Appétit.By dedicating staff time to discovering new food producers, we hope to offer more small producers access to larger markets for their products, bridging the gap between small farms and the restaurant industry. The foragers’ work inspires our chefs to think creatively, for example using heirloom vegetables and whole animals. And giving our customers the opportunity to experience the very best foods in their regions has the added dividend of supporting local economies.