Day 1 London Action Hub: Key Takeaways

Chefs Day 1

Key takeaways from day 1:

Today was a day focused on chefs, about getting in the kitchen and coming together to cook and exchange stories and ideas. To facilitate this, the chefs were set with a challenge: to cook 2 dishes that showcased 2 areas of the Chefs’ Manifesto. Needless to say, the chefs blended flavours and knowledge to create the following tasty dishes:

Anahita cooking

Anahita's dish

 

A number of producers attended today’s events as well. Richard Murray from FoodChain and Noam Givon from Rekki came to Omved to share their stories. Although two separate platforms, both initiatives help chefs to their work more efficiently with suppliers. These platforms typify the type of relationships chefs can have with suppliers- one that can facilitates the roles of chefs’ and producers’.

Fresh produce

In the afternoon, the chefs attended a food photography workshop by Majella from Pavlova & Cream. In this skills-based workshop, Majella highlighted the role social media and photography can play in chef’s work. Good food photography can help to celebrate not only the skills of chefs but that of their producers as well. Social media can be a useful tool to support smallholder farmers or suppliers as well as small businesses by showcasing their produce!  

example test shot

As the first day of the first ever Action Hub, much of the afternoon had attending chefs attempting to answer a simple yet complex question: What is an Action Hub? Like all good questions, this initial question prompted further queries: How should ‘action’ be defined? How does launching an Action Hub help deliver the Chefs’ Manifesto? What are the outcomes of an Action Hub?

After much debate & discussion, the gathered chefs identified 3 reasons or roles of an Action Hub:

Gather

Action Hubs will be chef-driven spaces that gather chefs from all backgrounds- restaurants, catering industry, food development- to cook, eat, share and discuss their work. These Action Hubs will also convene people from across the food industry, supply chain, government, civil society etc. around a shared table to create conversations around food system issues.

Focus

Action Hubs should contextualize the Chefs’ Manifesto. Its shape will be influenced by its geographical region as well as the people and organisations it gathers and their skillsets.  This content will create a unique space with a distinct identity and identified goals to work towards. One Hub may convene restaurant chefs, food policy actors, city council representatives and the like and thus focus on food waste in restaurants while another Hub may work with doctors and GPs in the local area to promote good food and healthy diets. In this way, the Hub convenes a community that pursues a common goal as a group and shares ideas of best practice and solutions along the way.

Amplify

A large part of the Action Hub is to share on-going chefs’ work and solutions to key sustainability issues. The Action Hub could help chefs communicate and translate the Action Plan using a range of resources—pocket guide, app, advocacy training, political campaigning etc.

Interplay Across Hubs

With the establishment of multiple Action Hubs, chefs and sustainability-focused people can share their experiences and knowledge across countries and food industry sectors. One way of facilitating this exchange of knowledge could be through a mentoring system.

Points for further discussion:

  • How can this be funded? Action Hub needs to lead but this requires financial backing 
  • Need financers - they require deliverables so we need to clarify these
  • Action Hub’s main goals—to inspire, teach and support
  • What is the role of the facilitator in these conversations? What triggers their interest?

Ways to engage: 

  • Follow Chefs' Manifesto project on instagram and twitter.
  • Follow the hashtags: #ChefsManifesto and #FoodIsLife