Blog: Sourcing

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Executive Pastry Chef Ian Farrell (right) was first bitten by the sourdough bug about five years ago, when he grew a wild yeast starter from the skins of organic grapes. Now he lives his passion for hand-crafted wild yeast breads daily at Oracle in Redwood Shores, CA. Almost all the breads, sourdough or otherwise, for every café on this campus are made from scratch daily at the Oracle Bakery.

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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.

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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.

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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One doesn’t usually think of the hills in San Jose, CA, as being prime hunting grounds for wild edibles, but Yahoo! Surf’s Café Supervisor Jen Takara and her crew in Sunnyvale struck green gold on a hunt for wild edible nopales (cactus paddles).

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Recently Bon Appétit staff, along with a small group of Gallaudet students, decided to build 14 large raised garden beds, using 952 cinderblocks that each weighed upwards of 25 pounds, and then filling those beds with soil. It quickly became clear that would be in need of some serious reinforcement.

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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 results can be interesting. Last Thursday, on April 14, Bon Appétit Management Company celebrated its fourth Low Carbon Diet Day, and Cornish College of the Arts transformed this annual event into an occasion in which eating was revered as art, and art added another dimension to sustainable dining.

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Yesterday Bon Appétit Management Company held its fourth annual Low Carbon Diet Day across the country. To celebrate, the kitchen team at the University of Maryland in Baltimore tempted their guests’ palates toward climate-friendlier pastures by reinventing a dish that has gained a reputation as the cheap/quick/greasy go-to of most college students: the pizza.

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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.