Chefs Collaborative Announces Finalists for 2011 Sustainability Awards

Thursday October 6, 2011

BOSTON, MA - An esteemed panel of 21 judges with impressive culinary credentials have selected 15 finalists for the 2011 Chefs Collaborative Sustainability Awards. The awards will be presented on Mon. evening, October 24, at the Riverview Room in New Orleans, during the 3rd Annual Chefs Collaborative National Summit.

The National Summit brings together more than 300 sustainability-minded chefs and food professionals from around the country for an educational and community-building conference on sustainability in restaurant and food service kitchens. This year's theme is "Hands-On New Orleans: Sustainability in Action."

"The field of nominees was especially competitive this year, which indicates the growing commitment to sustainable sourcing and food production," said Chef Michael Leviton of Lumiere and Area Four restaurants and chair of the Chefs Collaborative board.

Chefs Collaborative initiated its Sustainability Awards in 2010 to recognize individuals who have played an exemplary role in changing the sustainable food landscape. Each finalist is deserving of special recognition for their contributions to both food and sustainability.

More than 300 chefs, food professionals, producers and food writers from around the country will applaud these leaders' achievements at the Chefs Collaborative National Summit. Last year's winners were: Chef Peter Davis of Henrietta's Table in Cambridge, MA; Chris Koetke of Kendall College, Chicago, IL; Allison Hooper and Bob Reese of Vermont Butter and Cheese, Webstervile, VT.

For more information about the awards and the process, please visit our website.

The 2011 finalists in three categories are:


This award will recognize a chef who has been both a great mentor and is a model to the culinary community through his/her purchases of seasonal, sustainable ingredients and the transformation of these ingredients into delicious food.

Frank Brigsten

Chef/owner, Brigsten's, New Orleans, LA

Chris Ivens Brown

VP of Culinary Development, executive chef of Eurest, Compass Group, Charlotte, NC

Michael Foust

Chef/owner, the Farmhouse, Kansas City, MO

Sam Hayward

Executive Chef, Fore Street, Portland, ME

Mike Lata

Chef/Partner, FIG, Charleston, SC

Donald Miller

Executive chef, University of Notre Dame, IN


This year's theme is "Hands-On New Orleans: Sustainability in Action."

This award will recognize a visionary working in the greater food community who has been a catalyst for positive change within the food system through efforts that go beyond the kitchen.

Fedele Bauccio

Founder/CEO, Bon Appetit Management Company, Palo Alto, CA

Deborah Kane

VP, Foods and Farms, Ecotrust, Portland, OR

Bill Niman

Rancher and proprietor of BN Ranch, Bolinas, CA

Foodshed Champion:

This award will recognize a food producer (farmer, fisher, artisanal producer) committed to working with chefs and who exemplifies the following principle: Good food begins with unpolluted air, land, and water, environmentally sustainable farming and fishing, and humane animal husbandry.

Ben Burkett

Mississippi Association of Cooperative Farmers, Jackson, MS

Lance Nacio

Captain/Owner, Anna Maria Seafood, Dulac, LA

Bill Ryals

Farmer, Rocking R Dairy, Tylertown, MS

Sal and Al Sunseri

P & J Oyster Company, New Orleans, LA

Kurt Unkel

Owner/producer, Cajun Grain Rice, Kinder, LA

Nick Usner

Farmer, Grow Farms, Bush, LA

Chefs Collaborative is a national chef network that's changing the sustainable food landscape using the power of connections, education, and responsible buying decisions. For more information, visit or follow twitter @chefscollab.

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