Our experience working with chefs, servers, and restaurant owners has convinced us that chefs and restaurants can be part of the solution in preserving resources for generations to come and that we can do better in equipping the restaurant community to meet the world’s mounting environmental, agricultural, and social challenges.
A unique collaboration between MAD, Yale University, and the Yale Sustainable Food Program brings chefs, students, and scholars together in unprecedented dialogue to explore the kind of leadership inside and outside the kitchen that’s needed to change food systems, restaurants, and the world for the better.
In 2016 the inaugural MAD Yale Leadership Summit granted scholarships to chefs from six countries and three continents to imagine the food systems of tomorrow. In an intensive week of deep learning and discussion, chefs Alex Atala, April Bloomfield, David Chang, Jessica Koslow, Kylie Kwong, René Redzepi, Olivier Roellinger, Rosio Sanchez, and Michel Troisgros came together with students and scholars. The Summit drew on the university’s rich expertise and varied programming across environmental policy, history, food systems and agriculture; and on the expertise of practitioners from around the globe.
Students, chefs, and academics dove into topics from food justice and indigenous foods, to combating hunger and food waste through classroom study, evening salons, hands-on activities, and field trips. Speakers during the week included scientist Dana Small, political scientist James C. Scott, Union Square Hospitality Group CEO Danny Meyer , human rights practitioner Smita Narula, and NYU professor Krishnendu Ray.