As Hurricane Sandy barreled toward the coast, businesses and entire cities shut down to brace themselves for what was to come. But college dining halls don’t have that luxury. College students are already “at home,” and – no matter the weather — need to be fed. And local farmers and fishermen need to be able to sell their harvest.
This summer, Bon Appétit chefs gathered around the country to learn the ins and outs of cooking authentic Indian cuisine. At Emmanuel College in Boston, I joined a group of New England chefs attending the culinary training, titled “Flavors from the Turmeric Trail” and given by Raghavan Iyer, a native of Mumbai and a celebrated chef, author, and teacher.
Recently I met two very different Farm to Fork suppliers for Bon Appétit accounts in North Carolina — about as different as you’d expect a fish distributor and a beef rancher to be. Yet they had one key thing in common that made partnerships with our teams work.
When you’re outside of a company looking in, it’s hard to tell if the sustainability claims it makes are genuine. A year ago, I accepted a position with Bon Appétit Management Company in operations because it was one of a small handful of companies that seemed to be making significant efforts within a constrained food system. I was interested in sustainable business throughout graduate school, and what I heard over and over (and over!) again was: get some experience in operations. If you understand how a factory works or a kitchen runs, you’ll be more valuable to any sustainability team.