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It’s no secret that Colorado restaurants and bars are hurting due to closures during the coronavirus pandemic. But the rest of the food supply chain is also suffering, from the farmers to the purveyors who provide us with everything from flour to fresh seafood.
Sara Brito, co-founder and president of the Boulder-based Good Food Media Network, wants to make sure those farmers, producers, and suppliers—and their workers—are included in the conversation about how to move forward in a post-coronavirus world. “In order to be truly good, good food has to be good for every link in the food chain,” says Brito. “One of the things that this crisis has illuminated for more people is how our food system has been working disproportionately for some links in the chain while leaving others out. In general, disruptions to the food chain tend not to hit those of us in a place of privilege as hard and, obviously, privilege lives throughout every link of the food chain.”
To that end, Good Food Media Network is hosting a series of free virtual dinner conversations via Zoom throughout the month of June featuring chefs and other food professionals from the organization’s Good Food 100 Restaurants list. In fact, June was supposed to be “Celebrate Good Food” month for the nonprofit, but now its focus has shifted to “Save Good Food,” Brito says.
Several of the featured chefs are based in Colorado, including Annette’s Caroline Glover, the Wolf’s Tailor’s Kelly Whitaker, Fruition’s Alex Seidel, Beast & Bottle’s Paul C. Reilly, and Rioja’s Jennifer Jasinski. “We’re basically leveraging the power and influence of these chefs’ voices to advocate on behalf of the farmers, producers, and purveyors,” Brito says. “Chefs are the storytellers. They are the middle between where our food comes from and what we ultimately eat on the table.”
Each webinar will cover a specific topic related to saving good food, such as “Save Good Dairy” and “Save Good Meat.” Participants will share the challenges they’re facing, as well as some actionable steps viewers can take to help. The webinars are scheduled to last for about an hour each, with time for questions at the end. Colorado Poet Laureate Bobby LeFebre will kick off the series on June 3 with a live reading of one of his poems.
If you plan to participate, you’re encouraged to pick up takeout from participating Good Food 100 restaurants to eat during the conversations. A donor is matching all sales at featured chefs’ restaurants on those evenings, so it’s win-win for you and the chefs and their suppliers across the state. “We’re going to approach the events as virtual dinner table roundtable conversations, just as if we were all together in real life,” Brito says.
Find the full schedule of webinars below.
Eat. Drink. Think. #SaveGoodFood
Save Good Meat
June 3, 6 p.m.
Chefs: Rick Bayless, Paul Reilly
Farmer: Greg Gunthorp of Gunthorp Farm
Purveyor: Chris Oliviero of Niman Ranch
Save Good Dairy
June 10, 6 p.m
Chefs: Alex Seidel, David Lefevre
Purveyor: Sheri Allen (Certified Cheese Professional)
Save Good Seafood
June 17, 6 p.m.
Chefs: Renee Erickson, Jennifer Jasinski, Mike Lata
Producer: Adam James of Hama Hama Oysters
Purveyor: Derek Figueroa of Seattle Fish
Save Good Grain
June 24, 6 p.m.
Chefs: Katie Button, Kelly Whitaker
Producer/Purveyor: Jennifer Lapidus of Carolina Ground Flour
Producer/Purveyor: James Brown of Barton Springs Mill
Save Good Fruit & Veggies
June 30, 6 p.m.
Chefs: Caroline Glover, Steven Satterfield
Farmer: Chris Corrigan