From the 8th to the 12th of June, 16 chefs will gather together in Stockholm to discuss how we feed a growing world population within planetary boundaries. During this time, they will attend Stockholm Food Forum, meet with change-makers from science, politics, civil society and the private sector and add an important perspective to these discussions- that of a chef. Located at the centre of our food system, chefs bridge the gap between farm and fork- influencing what we grow, what we put on our plates and how we think about food. Many chefs are already doing great work to improve the sustainability of our food system. If chefs take a lead on sustainability issues, diners, farmers, business and even government will follow.
Read about the work each of the 16 attending chefs are carrying out in their own kitchens and communities to deliver a better food future for all:
Chef Sekamotho Mirriam Moteane
Chef Ska Mirriam was a Lesotho born chef who, as a child, loved to spend time in her mother’s kitchen. She went on to study the culinary arts at a school in Johannesburg, South Africa, as Lesotho does not have culinary schools to provide this knowledge. Upon finishing her training, Ska Mirriam returned to Lesotho to fill this gap with food education courses that teach aspiring chefs the basics of cooking as well as the importance of championing local farmers and produce in their menus. Ska Mirriam also advocates for greater involvement of women in the food industry, encouraging more women to become chefs. Moteane carries out a number of roles as a chef, award-winning author, newspaper columnist and TV personality as well as a consultant to Lesotho’s food industry. Most recently, Ska Mirriam won the 2014 Africa’s Most Influential Women in Business and Government Award in the small and medium-sized enterprises category as well as the 2014 Finite Magazine’s Women Appreciation Awards in the Ambassador category. Ska Mirriam has also worked with IFAD's Recipes for Change campaign, where chefs highlight the need for smallholder farmers to adapt now to climate impacts to safeguard food security. For more on Ska Mirriam, read this article or follow her on twitter and facebook.
Chef Manal Alalem
Photo: WFP/Mohammad Kiswani
Chef Manal Alalem is an Egyptian professional chef and TV chef. Throughout her career, Manal has encouraged women’s involvement in the culinary industry by leading specialized culinary courses for women as well as setting up the Manal Club- a network of 6,000 women from across the Arab world who take part in culinary festivals, shows and competitions. Manal is a champion of Middle Eastern and Arab cuisine and posts cooking videos of traditional dishes on her youtube channel. Additionally, Manal has published several cookbooks such as Manal Alalem Kitchen as well as features in a number of newspapers and magazines. Manal also works as an ambassador for the World Food Programme. For more on Manal, look at her facebook page.
Chef Justin Horne
Justin Horne is a British Eco-Chef, Food Waste Activist and Sustainability Lecturer. Justin spent 10 years in fine dining and Michelin star restaurants. He was disillusioned with the imbedded wasteful processes of restaurants. So in 2015 Justin launched Tiny Leaf London’s first Zero Waste, Organic, Vegetarian restaurant. Working with farmers, wholesalers and retailers to utilise their surplus and wonky veg. In 2019 Justin and team are launching a circular economy vertical farm restaurant called S A T I V A in London’s Kings Cross. It will grow its own fresh produce, generate its own energy and turn its waste back into energy. Justin also lectures at London’s universities and schools on sustainability and food waste. Follow Justin on twitter.
Chef Anahita Dhondy
Anahita Dhondy is an Indian chef who received her training at India’s Hotel Management Aurangabad and Le Cordon Blue. Anahita is a well-known champion of her traditional Parsi food culture, the rich cuisine of India’s Zoroastrian community. Additionally, Anahita works to promote lost recipes and ingredients, such as the traditional grain millet, in her cooking. On this theme, Dhondy was involved in Tasting India’s Eat Like Your Grandma campaign- a chef-led campaign that aims to popularize and reintroduce “forgotten foods” into India’s diet. At the age of 23, Anahita became the chef manager of SodaBottleOpenerWala restaurant that cooks the authentic Parsi dishes. Anahita aims to be a youth icon and an inspiration for aspiring female chefs in India and around the world. Although young, Anahita has received the “Young Chef” awards and Times Food Award. For more Anahita, check out her website or follow her on Instagram.
Chef Michael Elégbèdé
A native of Nigeria, Michael Adé Elégbèdé started his journey in the kitchen at a very young age. As his mother and grandmother ran local restaurants that doubled as cooking schools for young women, he naturally found himself responsible for several tasks in the kitchen. At age 13, Michael arrived in America, where he spent his spare time working as a cook in his mother’s Nigerian restaurant. After high school, Elégbèdé attended The University of Illinois to study biology with the aim of becoming a doctor but left realizing his passion resided in the kitchen. Michael began his culinary career at Alliance Bakery in Chicago where he learnt the intricacies of baking and pastries. He then attended the Culinary Institute of America Greystone in California where he attained a degree in Culinary arts. After graduating, Michael further refined his skills working at restaurants across the country, including the critically acclaimed Eleven Madison Park Restaurant in New York. Elégbèdé works to rediscover and tell the story of Nigeria’s food culture with its unique flavors, ingredients, and cooking traditions, adding his own personal touch. For more on Michael, check out his website.
Chef Ali Mandhry
Ali Said Mandhry popularly known as Chef Ali L’artiste, is a Celebrity Chef, TV/Radio personality, culinary instructor and food stylist. Born in Mombasa, Ali discovered his love for cooking at the age of nine by cooking with his grandfather. Ali was inspired by Bil Hana Wal Shifaa, a cooking show that showcased Arab Cuisine and decided to teach himself to bake. In no time, he began earning his pocket money by taking orders for birthday and occasional cakes from his primary school mates, friends and neighbors. Following high school, Ali started work at the Sarova White Sands Beach Resort and Spa as an apprentice chef before enrolling in a food production apprenticeship at the Kenya Utalii College. After graduating, Mandhry pursued a career as an artistic chef to follow his passion for sugar artistry, pastries and cakes.
His aim is to inspire and educate people with the new trends in the culinary world. Chef Ali develops, writes and shares recipes on blogs and videos online so as to teach people how to cook. He has appeared on a number of TV and radio shows such as ABC The Chew, CNN African voices, Dubai TV, Hosted Pilipili Jikoni, Tamu Tamu on NTV kenya, kikwetu supa Chef on k24, Food Time on Pwani TV, and Celebrity Kitchen Raid on Zuku Entertainment. He currently co-host’s power breakfast Live on Citizen TV every Thursday preparing meals live on set for the third year on the row. To date, Ali has filmed and hosted over 100 episodes of his own TV cookery shows on several broadcasting networks in Kenya, East/Pan Africa and globally. Chef Ali writes a weekly recipe column for Eve magazine published every Saturday as a pullout magazine inside the standard newspaper.
Through his career, Ali has worked both national and internationally to champion Kenyan cuisine. In 2011, Ali started a project that trained young chefs at Kenya Utalii College on pastry presentation as well as developed the “Basic Food Presentation Skills Course” that refined the presentation skills of hotel industry chefs in Kenya. Recognizing his work, Ali has been named among the top five reigning chefs of African cuisine by Africa Style Daily as well as vote number 1 chef on top 10 list in Kenya. He was also the first African chef to win the International Hall of Fame Award (USA) and serves as Kenya’s Chefs Global Ambassador. Ali has also been part of IFAD's Recipes for Change campaign, a project in which chefs highlight the need for smallholder farmers to adapt now to climate impacts to protect their food security. For more on Chef Ali, check out his facebook page, Instagram and twitter.
Chef Chandra Yudasswara
From an early age, Indonesian chef Chandra Yudasswara grew up around food and in kitchens. He helped in his mother’s kitchen at home and, in his teenage years, took on roles in his father’s kitchens at five-star hotels and restaurants. Following high school, Chandra attended Bandung Tourism Institute where he qualified as a chef. Cooking a combination of Asian and Western dishes, Chandra has head up the kitchens of Bacco, Portable Resto Jakarta, Domicile, Surabaya, Play and Metro Coffee. Chandra is also the host a cooking show NET in which he invites celebrities on to the programme and cooks for them. Read more about Chandra here and follow him on twitter.
Chef Eduardo Garcia
Chef Eduardo Garcia was born in Mexico and immigrated with his family to the US. At the age of five, Eduardo started working on farms across the country, picking the seasonal fruits and vegetables. At age 14, Eduardo got his first job in a kitchen washing dishes before working his way up to the role of chef de partie at restaurant Brasserie Le Coze. In this way, Eduardo had no formal culinary training, instead learning his craft entirely restaurant kitchen settings. Eduardo worked his way through well known US kitchen but, when identified as an undocumented worker, was deported to Mexico. There Eduardo worked in a Michelin-starred restaurant before opening up three of his own restaurants: Maximo Bistrot, Lalo! and Havre 77. Maximo Bistrot, the restaurant he runs with his wife, serves dishes that apply classic French techniques to traditional Mexican preparations and ingredients. For more, read this interview with Eduardo and follow him on instagram.
Chef Arlette Eulert
Peruvian chef Arlette first studied art at Universidad Catolica and Universitat de Barcelonda before enrolling at Le Cordon Bleu Peru and pursuing a career as a chef. Arlette started her career at Café del Mar, later becoming sous chef at Restaurante Rafael and moving on to work in the well known kitchens of Sucre, Ibai, Gaig, Nobu, Dom. Arlette is now chef and co-owner of Matria Restaurant in Lima, a restaurant inspired by food from South Asian, Mediterranean and Peruvian cuisines. Arlette is part of Generacion con Causa (Generation with a Cause), a movement of young Peruvian chefs who believe that food is a powerful tool to achieve change. In her work, Arlette advocates for women’s participation within the food industry and views farmers as vital actors within the food supply chain. For more on Arlette, check out her facebook page.
Chef Arthur Potts Dawson
British chef Arthur Potts Dawson has been cooking for over 30 years, starting his career as a chef in 1987 with a three year apprenticeship with the Roux brothers. Since then, he has worked at Kensington Place, as head chef at the River Café and alongside Hugh Fernley-Whittingstall and Pierre Khoffman. He restyled Petersham Nurseries kitchen, led the re-launch of Cecconi's restaurant for the Soho House group, and worked as executive head chef for Jamie Oliver's Fifteen Restaurant and Piccadilly Diner. His two restaurants Acorn House and Water House have won numerous awards for their excellent food and sustainable practices such as rooftop gardens, low-energy refrigerators and wormeries, proving the profitability of an eco-friendly approach. Additionally, Arthur founded The People’s Supermarket, a supermarket that connects the urban community with the local farming community by stocking high quality and environmentally friendly produce from trusted, local suppliers. As such, The People’s Supermarket is challenging the food industry to achieve a more sustainable and food secure future.
As an advocate for sustainable food production, Arthur often speaks on issues relating to global hunger and food waste in his role supporting the UN World Food Programme. Arthur has also worked on shows for the BBC Radio 4 food programme and writes for the Guardian’s food and travel section. Alongside all of this, Arthur consults on large scale sustainable food innovation with Ikea Food, The Fazer Group and Unilever. For more, take a look at Arthur’s ted talk, twitter and facebook page.
Chef Mary Sue Millken
Mary Sue Milliken is a renowned chef, cookbook author, and television personality from the United States. Mary Sue is most notably recognized as a preeminent ambassador of modern Mexican cuisine with her Border Grill Restaurants (Las Vegas, Los Angeles, LAX Airport, The Huntington) and Trucks. Starting as the first female chef at Chicago's Le Perroquet in 1978, Mary Sue went on to refine her skills in Paris at Restaurant D’Olympe, a woman owned Michelin two-star restaurant. Winning the James Beard Award in 1985 was the first of many honors including lifetime achievement awards from Women Chefs and Restaurateurs, CA Restaurant Association, and Menu Masters Hall of Fame. Most recently, Mary Sue was the recipients of the Los Angeles Times’ annual Gold Award. Mary Sue has co-authored five cookbooks, co-starred in nearly 400 episodes of the Food Network’s “Too Hot Tamales,” and co-hosted a food centered radio show for over a decade in Los Angeles. She competed on season three of Bravo's “Top Chef Masters," making it to the finale and winning $40,000 for her charity Share Our Strength that aims to end childhood hunger in America. Mary Sue has served as fundraiser, board member and advocate of Share Our Strength since 1987 and also serves on the Board of Trustees for the James Beard Foundation. In 1993, she joined a handful of colleagues to create two organizations: Women Chefs & Restaurateurs, an organization promoting women’s education and advancement in the restaurant industry; and Chefs Collaborative whose mission is to inspire, educate, and celebrate chefs and food professionals building a better food system. Additionally, Mary Sue served the U. S. State Department as a member of the American Chef Corps, working in Pakistan, Malta and Italy to promote diplomacy through food. She is passionate about food policy, working alongside the LA Food Policy Council, Pew Charitable Trusts, Oxfam, Monterey Bay Aquarium and others to help shape sustainable food systems. For more, follow Mary Sue on twitter and facebook.
Chef Dennis Prescott
Dennis The Prescott is a chef, cookbook author, and food photographer based in Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada. Prescott has amassed a devoted following of almost 500K social media followers, cooks regularly on National television in the US and Canada, and has traveled the globe with World Vision Canada and WFP, cooking from New York to Nairobi. His National bestselling cookbook, “Eat Delicious” (William Morrow/HarperCollins) was named one of the Globe & Mail’s best cookbooks of 2017. For more, follow Dennis on twitter and Instagram.
Chef Kamilla Seidler
Kamilla Seidler was born in Copenhagen, Denmark and developed her professional chef career at some of the most important kitchens of the world, such as the Mugaritz, Manoir Aux 'Quat Saisons, Paustian and Geist. After accepting an invitation from Claus Meyer to establish a culinary school and high class restaurant called GUSTU, Kamilla arrived in Bolivia in 2012. At GUSTU, Kamilla sought to share her experiences and knowledge of cooking with the aim to make even the smallest difference in the lives of Bolivian young people. Kamilla found in Gustu a space to explore how a commitment to indigenous produce and local farmers could benefit from her learnings from the Scandinavian food scene as well as the Spanish Avant-Garde kitchen. At Gustu, she developed a modern and innovative kitchen style that highlighted with simplicity and elegance the qualities of native Bolivian products, creating a sensory walk through Bolivia’s biodiversity. With a life dedicated to gastronomy, Kamilla Seidler strives daily to encourage gender equality in the kitchens and utilize gastronomy as a tool for social change. Recognizing her work at Gustu, Kamilla was awarded Latin America’s Best Female Chef by The World’s 50 Best Restaurant list. For more, follow Kamilla on twitter or Instagram.
Chef Alejandra Schrader
Venezuelan American chef Alejandra Schrader has made appearances on shows like Access Hollywood Live, The Talk, Cafe CNN, NBC’s Today in LA, LatiNation, Primera Edición and Lánzate (Univision, Spanish TV). Her recipes and interviews have been featured in high profile magazines such as InTouch Weekly and Taste of Home. She is involved in multiple charity projects; offering cooking demonstrations, working special events, and teaching complimentary cooking classes to children, youth, and women of all ages. Honored to be a “Sisters on the Planet” Ambassador for Oxfam America, Alejandra believes she has a real responsibility to help find an effective plan to end world hunger and to develop more sustainable food systems. A hard-working entrepreneur, Alejandra has launched her own line of seasoning blends and personally blends her products in small batches. She continues to offer private chef services to families and corporations and occasionally ‘pops-up’ around Los Angeles with events like Gastro: Pop-Up, La Tasca, and L.A. Arepa Bar, a three-time food truck takeover. Alejandra is writing her first cookbook; she is exploring exciting new media and television projects. For more, check out Alejandra’s website or follow her on twitter.
Chef David Johansson
Swedish chef David Johansson started his career working in a number of restaurants in Stockholm, Denmark, Norway, and France before moving across to the US to work as executive chef at the Swedish Consulate General in New York. From there he opened up an espresso bar that paid tribute to the Swedish tradition “fika” (coffee break) and later expanded the one café into a chain. Upon returning to Sweden, David realized that his passion for food lay with creating food product and so decided to work at IKEA with the aim of showcasing the Swedish cuisine. As a product developer of IKEA Food and restaurant, Johansson tried to implement the following five key principles in tandem: form, function, quality, sustainability, and a low price. David has since gone on to focus on recipe development at Ikea Food. For more, read this interview with David and check out his instagram page.
Mitchell Davis is the Exeuctive Vice President of the James Beard Foundation, a cookbook author, a journalist, and a scholar with a Ph.D. in Food Studies from NYU. With the Beard Foundation for almost 25 years, Davis has created and/or overseen many of the organization’s most impactful initiatives, including the annual JBF Food Summit, a national dialogue of thought leaders on sustainability and public health, the JBF Chefs Boot Camp for Policy and Change, an advocacy training program for culinary professionals, and the JBF Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership program, intended to correct the gender imbalance in leadership in the restaurant industry. In 2013, Davis led the team that was selected by the U.S. Department of State to create the USA Pavilion at Expo Milano 2015—the first world’s fair since 1862 focusing on food—for which he received commendations from U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and First Lady Michelle Obama. Davis frequently writes about and reviews restaurants. He holds a chair on the Academy of the London-based World’s 50 Best Restaurants. He has written several cookbooks, including the ground-breaking e-book My Provence (Alta Editions) with Michelin three-star chef Laurent Gras, which won the IACP’s “Judges’ Choice” award in 2013, and Kitchen Sense (Clarkson Potter, 2006). In 2013, The Forward selected Davis as one of the 50 most influential Jews under 50 in America. In 2017 epicurious.com included Davis on their list of the “100 Greatest Home Cooks of All Time.” For more, watch Mitchell’s TedTalk and Bitten talk as well as follow Mitchell on twitter.