2014 Farmer-Fisher-Chef Connection: Innovators and Innovation
On Monday, February 24th, Seattle Chefs Collaborative will host the 8th Farmer-Fisher-Chef Connection (F2C2) at Seattle Culinary Academy at Seattle Central Community College. The day-long event has gained a faithful following of return guests while annually drawing in new food producers and chefs for a delicious and social day of doing business while learning from each other. “After taking a year off from hosting the event, we’re looking forward to bringing our food community together again to celebrate the great and delicious work we do,” said Seattle Chefs Collaborative president Zachary Lyons.
For Seattle Chefs Collaborative, F2C2 is its biggest event of the year! It is proud of the connections brokered each year, bringing independent food producers together with the chefs, buyers and distributors who want to work directly with the people who grow, catch, harvest and forage the great tastes of the Pacific Northwest. Consistently, tracking surveys have shown that this event generates at least $1 million in new sales in our local food economy each year. F2C2 showcases and connects the producers and buyers who care about local, sustainable and delicious.
Each year, F2C2 kicks off with a keynote presentation that expands on the event’s theme, this year’s theme being Innovators and Innovation. Seattle-based chefs Maxim Bilet and Thierry Rautureau will share the keynote speaker role as innovators who have changed the way the world cooks and eats. The two chefs will interview each other about their journey from unknown to influential, and keeping it sustainable.
Breakout sessions that follow the keynote presentation will highlight the work of innovative organizations, businesses and individuals that have made an impact on the Pacific Northwest food economy. This year, breakout sessions will address community involvement and our food shed; Washington State labor issues; incubators and educational programs that ready the next generation of food producers and chefs to feed our communities; creative financing to fund food businesses; seed saving and regionally developed crops that thrive in the Pacific Northwest; getting local food into institutional kitchens; sharing the Columbia and Snake Rivers water resource; and – back by popular demand – craft beer and spirits and the people who make them!
It wouldn’t be a Seattle Chefs Collaborative event without a chance to sample the products of the hardworking folks who fill the room. ‘The best lunch in Seattle,’ as it has been coined, features the sustainably produced foods from the farmers and fishers as prepared by top Seattle-area chefs. Make sure to arrive early for event registration, as the breakfast should be called ‘the best kept secret in Seattle!’
Producer and buyer speed networking sessions are the heart of the event, allowing these two busy sectors of the food industry to meet and discuss product sales without the pressure of business deadlines.
Registration for the 8th Farmer-Fisher-Chef Connection will open to food producers and buyers on January 14th. General registration will open on February 1st, with discounts for Chefs Collaborative members.
Registration & Breakfast Opens at 8 a.m., Welcome at 9 a.m.
Welcome - Zachary Lyons, President, Seattle Chefs Collaborative
Keynote – Innovators on Innovation and Sustainability
Innovators Maxime Bilet and Thierry Rautureau are Seattle chefs who have changed the way the world cooks and eats. How did they get their start? What innovations of their own and others have helped them along the way? Join us as the two chefs interview each other about their journey from unknown to influential and keeping it sustainable.
Community, Sustainability and a Sense of Place
Zachary Lyons and Chef Roy Breiman, president and vice-president of Seattle Chefs Collaborative, have observed and participated in the development of their share of innovative, community-based solutions to creating vibrant local food systems both locally, and in their travels. And while our local food community here in the Pacific Northwest serves as a model for our nation in so many ways, there are lessons Roy and Zach have learned from the European culture, and from a small group of dairy farmers in Northeastern Vermont, that encourage us to reach for even greater heights of sustainability. They will lead a discussion on how we can continue to work together to strengthen our sense of place and community through food.
Morning Breakout Sessions, three concurrent
From Ocean and Land to Table Labor Issues: Common Challenges, Different Workplaces
Workers’ rights, livable wages and workplace safety issues are increasingly in the news and not in a good way. Where and how can we start addressing these important social justice issues that we know will make our businesses better? Rosalinda Guillen, Executive Director of Community to Community Development, will start the conversation with an overview of recent labor issues with a focus on Washington State. We’ll hear about Domestic Fair Trade Standards that her organization and others are working on to take domestic fair trade from an innovative idea to workplace standard of operation. Discussion with Farmers, Fishers and Chefs to follow.
Future Farmers, Fishers and Chefs: Incubators and Education Programs
“Enlighten us, but make it quick” is the tagline for Ignite events. Using the Ignite format of 20 slides advanced every 15 seconds, instructors and graduates from Fare Start, Viva Farms, Seattle Tilth Farm Works and the Alaska Young Fishermen Summit will tell us about their innovative programs that help people, particularly those facing challenges, gain skills to enter the Farming, Fishing and Food preparation industries.
Building Columbia Basin Stakeholder Partnerships
Water from these two rivers is a resource we all need, use and in the last 20 years have gone to court over. The current system isn’t working, and it’s time to discuss innovative ways of achieving sustainability and access to water that meets all stakeholders’ needs - irrigation, habitat for wild salmon, energy, transportation, recreation and more. Joseph Boggard from Save Our Wild Salmon will lead a discussion with a farmer, fisher, chef and an energy expert about how to create this change, and how we can lead the way as innovators and leaders.
Afternoon Breakout Session, four concurrent
New Recipes For Financing Food Business
During the past few years, as small business have found traditional financing options such as banks harder to come by, many have turned to a new wave of financing models collectively called "Crowd Sourcing". From websites like Local Investment Opportunity Networks, Indiegogo and Kickstarter, to companies like Community Sourced Capital, and Local, this panel will survey the current landscape of financing options for food related businesses.
Local Beverages Revisited: Reinventing How It’s Done
Back by popular demand, this panel of Washington beverage professionals left the guests at Going with the Grain wanting more! At F2C2, they’ll expand the conversation about bringing back local beverages to benefit local food webs and economies.
Institutional Kitchen Flips
Shifting institutional kitchens from convenience foods to real food is a process not easily or quickly accomplished. At past F2C2 events, we have addressed the producer-buyer aspects of purchasing local food for institutions. This session will focus on how to get the people signing your paycheck to think the idea is good, too! Hear from chefs how they have made innovated changes that provide triple bottom line results for their place of work, and for local food producers.
Organic Seed Alliance’s Produce Variety Trials
Organic Seed Alliance talks about their work with Pacific Northwest farmers to develop regional crops through traditional plant breeding. No GMOs here. Just new varieties that have many advantages: extended growing seasons, increased yields with less inputs, a smaller carbon footprint, and great flavor. This look at working with agricultural researchers to grow better food will also address expected challenges, and how farmers and chefs can take part in this exciting way to keep it local. A variety tasting is included as part of this breakout session.