Top 10 eco-chefs leading the sustainable culinary revolution

Sushree Behera

A chef can bring to the table a lot more than food dishes. He can blend culture and ethics with spices to reinvent food dishes. Lately, eco-chefs have given a new perspective to the world towards culinary expertise. 

Bun Lai is known to be the leader of the concept of eco-chef as he was the first person to implement a sustainable seafood paradigm in 1995. Since then, there has been a steady evolution of the concept, and many impressive eco-chefs have entered the kitchen. So, let’s talk about some of the most renowned eco-chefs in the world in detail. 

1. Massimo Bottura

Massimo Bottura is an acclaimed Italian chef who has a positive impact on the world of taste. Massimo actively advocates for the deterioration of food wastage through his global platform. 

His Refettorios have provided food to many homeless people by turning tons of excess food into nutritious meals. He also founded ‘Food for Soul‘ in 2016, a non-profit organization that deals with food wastage and runs social initiatives around the globe. 

2. Dan Barber

A renowned chef and owner of Blue Hill in the Hudson Valley, Dan Barber is one of the most educated eco-chefs in the world. He is also known as the Thinking Chef for his revolutionary ideas about everyday food habits.

He creates awareness about the importance of food sourcing and the processes involved in treating those food items. He also actively argues about agricultural policies. His book, The Third Plate, highlights ethical eating and agricultural practices. 

Read more: The world’s best zero waste influencers to follow

3. Eneko Atxa

Eneko Atxa is a culinary expert who owns Azurmendi, a restaurant in Spain. Interestingly, the restaurant is based on sustainability as it uses rainwater for sanitary functions, greenhouses, and gardening. 

Atxa has planted more than 750 trees in his restaurant’s greenhouses, aiming to reduce carbon dioxide. Most of the kitchen’s ingredients are products of the same greenhouses, too. Also, Atxa uses renewable energy to meet restaurant’s energy requirements. 

4. Sam Kass

When Sam Kass was serving as Barack Obama’s chef, he was the first Senior White House Food Policy Advisor. Kass was also the Executive Director of Michelle Obama’s campaign that focused on childhood health. 

While planting the first-ever vegetable garden at the White House, Kass assisted the Obamas. This garden took sustainability to the national stage. Also, in 2012, the American Chef Corps was a Kass initiative that dealt with diplomacy using culinary methods. His strategy firm, Trove focuses on bringing sustainability to the global food system. 

5. April Bloomfield

Pretty famous for her nose-to-tail cooking style, April Bloomfield just can’t tolerate food wastage. As her cooking style suggests, she primarily focuses on using the entire body of an animal without leaving any residuals. However, April’s main challenge is that people often hesitate to consume some particular parts of the animals that are not very tasty. 

Hence, April Concentrates a lot on making those mundane animal parts delicious through her culinary expertise. She is obstinate in doing whatever she can to prevent meat wastage

6. Bruno Loubet

Bruno Loubet is the owner of Grain Store, a restaurant that was crowned with London Restaurant of the Year in 2014 for its sustainability. Bruno heavily focuses on all kinds of sustainable food practices. Her cooking is often termed ethical because she promotes vegetable-based diets by reducing animal consumption. 

Also, she goes to a community garden to fetch her herbs and edible flowers. In fact, she uses reclaimed furniture in her restaurant to promote sustainability. 

7. Anthony Bourdain

Anthony is a prominent name in the list of eco-chefs. His documentary, Wasted! The Story of Food Waste speaks about how more than 35 percent of food that human beings produce is thrown away. 

He has spent more than 16 years of his life traveling around the world to feed people instead of wasting that food. He also talks about the harmful effects of food wastage on the environment. 

8. Hisato Nakahigashi

Nature is the inspiration for Hisato Nakahigashi and lies in his culinary expertise. His specialty is tsumikusa cuisine, which uses wild herbs and vegetables. Hisato himself goes to the mountain areas to carefully pick the best herbs. 

According to him, directly connecting our food sourcing with nature gives us a genuine sense of seasons. In his restaurant named Miyamaso, sustainability is the primary concern, and the motto will stay the same as he promised. 

9. Tal Ronnen

Owner of Crossroads Kitchen, an Israeli and Moroccan-influenced restaurant in Los Angeles, Tal Ronnen actively argues about the benefits of having a vegan diet. He creates awareness about the advantages of reducing animal slaughter and favoring vegetables. 

In addition to that, he also has a non-profit organization in his name that focuses on educating food service operators about how to use sustainable vegetables. 

10. Marcus Samuelsson

Well-known for his traditional style of cooking, Marcus Samuelsson believes in the use of pristine vegetables and fruits for meals. He practices a farm-to-fork method that includes the use of local, sustainably harvested foods. In fact, Marcus served a sustainable vegetarian diet in the White House using vegetables from the White House’s garden. 

So, these are the top 10 eco-chefs who have brought about a change in the culinary field. Our environment is very precious, and through cooking methods and eating habits, eco-chefs are trying to preserve biodiversity. 

Read more: The most in-demand occupations of the green economy

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