Despite the very busy schedules that the hospitality industry demands serving customers, this industry is also taking the time to take care of its own. Chefs are now using the success of their restaurants to educate, provide support, and give back to the communities that have supported them.
La Cocina supports businesses run by women from communities of color and immigrant communities by providing affordable commercial kitchen space, industry-specific technical assistance, and access to market opportunities.
The Cooking Project
The Cooking Project's mission is to teach young people fundamental cooking skills. By focusing on delicious, inexpensive dishes from diverse cultural traditions. Its community of chefs, writers, home cooks, and farmers seeks to demystify the culture of food, make good food more accessible, and equip young people to successfully take on challenges in the kitchen and out.
The Giving Kitchen
Ryan Hidinger, Jen Hidinger
The Giving Kitchen provides emergency assistance to food service workers through financial support through Crisis Grants and Stability Network, a referral program for social services.
Peterson Garden Project
The Peterson Garden Project fosters community through public gardens and provides a space for refugees to grow familiar fruits and vegetables.
Paul Kahan, Matthew Merges, Jason Hammel
Pilot Light is a nonprofit organization founded by some of Chicago’s top Good Food chefs to bring food education to students in Chicago Public Schools and help children make healthier choices.
Kevin O' Donnell
Future Chefs' goal is to cultivate a vibrant cohort of young professionals who are committed to advancing the culinary arts.
Sam Hunt, Robin Swayze
Root provides youths, ages 16 to 24, with a pathway to employment and financial independence by developing life and work readiness skills.
Careers Through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP)
C-CAP is a curriculum enrichment program linking public high school culinary teachers and their students to the foodservice industry. Its various programs work together to help prepare students for college and careers in the restaurant and hospitality industry.
Michael Anthony, Dominique Ansel, Dan Barber, Emma Bengtsson, David Chang, Andrew Carmellini, Tom Collicchio, Dan Churchill, Michael Chernow, Lena Ciardullo, Scott Conant, Suzanne Cupps, Marc Forgione, Danny Meyer, and many others
City Harvest is New York City’s largest food rescue organization, helping to feed the nearly 1.2 million New Yorkers who are struggling to put meals on their tables. Its programs help food-insecure New Yorkers access nutritious food that fits their needs and desires and strengthen the local food system, building a path to a food-secure future for all New Yorkers.
New York Women's Culinary Alliance (NYWCA)
Rhadia Hursey, Garima Kothari
The New York Women’s Culinary Alliance fosters networking, education, and cooperation for women in the culinary and beverage fields in the New York metro area.
The King's Kitchen
The King's Kitchen goal is to raise funds to feed the spiritual and physical needs of those who have the least in their community and to train and equip those previously unemployable in the restaurant trade.
Community Culinary School of Charlotte
Community Culinary School of Charlotte (CCSC) is a nonprofit organization that provides workforce training and job placement assistance in the foodservice industry for adults who face barriers to successful employment.
Stone Soup PDX
Scott Dolich, Sean Sullivan, Connor Braddock
Stone Soup PDX is a nonprofit food training enterprise based in Portland that provides life skills and hands-on culinary expertise to people who are at risk of homelessness.
Portland Culinary Alliance (PCA)
Diane Morgan, Joy Church
The Portland Culinary Alliance (PCA) is a nonprofit organization that fosters valuable education, networking, social events, and scholarship opportunities for current and aspiring food and beverage professionals in Oregon and Southwest Washington.
Vetri Community Partnership
Established to help kids experience the connection between healthy eating and healthy living, Vetri Community Partnership empowers children and families to lead healthier lives through fresh food, hands-on experiences, and education
The Heirloom Foundation
Sean Brock, Kat Kinsman, Jonathon Ory
The Heirloom Foundation based in Charleston advocates for a healthy food industry through public outreach, professional development, wellness programs, and benefit events.
Café Momentum teaches critical skills allowing youth to apply what they have been taught in pre-release programs in a safe, real-world environment of nurturing accountability. By participating in the program, at-risk young men and women rotate through every aspect of the restaurant from waiting tables to washing dishes, while working side-by-side with established chefs.
I’ll Have What She’s Having
I’ll Have What She’s Having is an organization uniting women chefs, hospitality professionals, entrepreneurs, physicians, scientists, artists and other professionals in social activism. It is focused on raising community awareness and funds in support of women's health.
Southern Smoke Foundation
Southern Smoke Foundation is a nonprofit that has donated $1.3 million to “take care of our own" and more than $700,000 to the National MS Society (in honor of Chef Chris Shepherd’s friend and former sommelier, Antonio Gianola, who was diagnosed with the disease). In addition, Southern Smoke’s Emergency Relief Fund has donated more than $700,000 to industry professionals in crisis—natural disasters, health issues, mental health issues.
Note: This list is a small sampling (and a work-in-progress!). If you'd like us to add a chef-driven organization, please email us at [email protected] for consideration!