Pilot Light Announces Inaugural Citizen Food Conference With

|Feb 19|magazine19 min read

CHICAGO, Feb. 19, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Pilot Light announces the inaugural Citizen Food conference, welcoming chefs from across the U.S. including notable award-winning chef Dan Barber (Blue Hill, Blue Hill at Stone Barns, Row 7 Seed Company), Dan Giusti (Noma, Brigaid), Camilla Marcus (west~bourne, TechTable), Tunde Wey (SAARTJ, BabyZoos), Anthony Myint (Mission Chinese Food, The Perennial, Zero Foodprint), Betti Wiggins (Houston Independent School District), Geeta Maker-Clark, MD, ABOIM (University of Chicago), and life-long food advocate Ann Cooper  "The Renegade Lunch Lady." Pilot Light founding Chicago chefs Paul Kahan (One-Off Hospitality Group, Black Bird, Avec, Publican, Big Star), Jason Hammel (Lula Café, Marisol, Superkhana International), and Matthias Merges (Folk Art Management Group, Billy Sunday, Mordecai, Hush Money) will prepare the evening's dinner for guests, to be hosted at the Museum of Contemporary Art.

The day-long Citizen Food conference will be held at the Ace Hotel in Chicago on Monday, April 20, 2020, and will include breakfast, lunch, a cocktail reception and dinner. Following the chef speaker presentations, attendees will be bussed to the Museum of Contemporary Art for a cocktail reception, keynote address, and a family-style dinner experience hosted by Pilot Light's founding chefs.

Food advocacy and social change is the heart of the Citizen Food conference. Speaker topics will include racial and gender equality, education and school lunch programs, sustainability and immigrant rights.

"The goal of Citizen Food is to bring together thought-leaders, activists, and community members to help encourage positive change and action, through food, within our communities," said Pilot Light founding chef, Jason Hammel.

More guest speakers and topics will be announced in the coming weeks. Tickets to the conference, cocktail reception and dinner are $250. To purchase tickets, visit CitizenFoodConference.com.

About Dan Barber
Dan Barber is the chef and co-owner of Blue Hill and Blue Hill at Stone Barns, and the author of The Third Plate. Barber also co-founded Row 7 Seed Company, a seed company bringing together chefs and plant breeders in the development of new varieties of vegetables and grains. His opinions on food and agricultural policy have appeared in the New York Times, along with many other publications.

Appointed by President Barack Obama to serve on the President's Council on Physical Fitness, Sports and Nutrition, Dan continues the work that he began as a member of Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture board of directors: to blur the line between the dining experience and the educational, bringing the principles of good farming directly to the table.

Barber has received multiple James Beard awards including Best Chef: New York City (2006) and the country's Outstanding Chef (2009). In 2009 he was named one of Time magazine's 100 most influential people in the world.

About Dan Giusti 
Raised in a large, food-loving Italian family, Dan Giusti attended the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, and quickly rose through the ranks of the culinary world. He served as Executive Chef of 1789 in Washington, D.C., then crossed the pond to work at Noma in Copenhagen, Denmark. After three years as Head Chef, he returned to the United States to tackle another challenge: school food.

In 2016, he founded Brigaid, which recruits trained chefs to lead institutional kitchens under the premise that students deserve real, wholesome food, cooked from scratch with care and passion. This guiding principle continues to inspire Dan's work as he leads Brigaid's expansion to various parts of the United States. 

About Camilla Marcus
Camilla Marcus has one of the most modern minds in the restaurant world today. She helped bring to life some of New York's most beloved neighborhood restaurants, including dell'anima, Riverpark, and the reopened Union Square Café, but her passions and talents fully come together with the launch of west~bourne. An accidentally vegetarian and decidedly wholesome concept, west~bourne brings people together to eat well and do good, which means a business model that incorporates youth job training, an emphasis on organic and local produce, and a zero-waste approach to benefit the planet and its people. Camilla is also co-founder of TechTable, a hospitality technology thought leadership platform, and a partner in Pound for Pound Consulting, a boutique strategic and creative agency for hospitality-related initiatives.

About Tunde Wey
The chef and cultural critic Tunde Wey uses food to create provocative and transformative experiences. He has hosted a series of projects including SAARTJ: a project highlighting racial wealth disparity by offering race-based tiered pricing to customers, LOVE WILL TRUMP: a dinner series to spark romantic connections between U.S. citizens and immigrants, and BLACKNESS IN AMERICA: exploring race from the perspective of black folks, over fine food and drink.

Tunde Wey has been featured in The New York Times, NPR, GQ, The Washington Post, VOGUE, Black Enterprise, Food and Wine, and his writing has appeared in the Oxford American, Boston Globe, and San Francisco Chronicle. 

About Anthony Myint
Anthony Myint is a chef and food activist who co-founded Mission Chinese Food (SF, NYC, Brooklyn) and The Perennial. Anthony is mobilizing the restaurant industry toward climate solutions through his non-profit Zero Foodprint which works with many of the best restaurants in the world. ZFP's Restore CA program is in collaboration with the CA Dept of Food and Ag, CalEPA and the CA Air Resources Board on a model to scale carbon farming and regenerative agriculture at a pace similar to Community Choice Aggregation in renewable energy. Anthony was recently awarded the Basque Culinary World Prize for his work beyond the kitchen to align capital with healthy soil.

About Ann Cooper
Chef Ann Cooper is an internationally recognized author, chef, educator, public speaker, and advocate of healthy food for all children. In 2009, Chef Ann founded the Chef Ann Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping schools take action so that every child has daily access to fresh, healthy food.

Chef Ann has also been honored by the National Resources Defense Council, awarded an honorary doctorate from SUNY Cobleskill, and received IACP's 2012 Humanitarian of the Year award. Named one of the "Influential 20" by Food Service Director Magazine and one of the top 15 crusaders for Health in the Food Industry by Greatist.com. Ann has received the Women Chefs and Restaurater's community Service Award and a Special Inspiration award from the Susan. B. Komen Foundation. In 2016, she was named "One of the Top 50 Food Activist" by the Academy of Culinary Nutrition.

About Betti Wiggins
Betti Wiggins is the officer of Nutrition Services for the Houston Independent School District, the nation's seventh-largest school district. She is responsible for managing and implementing the district's school nutrition program that serves more than 280,000 nutritious meals to students free of charge at 280 schools every day.

Wiggins is the recipient of numerous honors and awards. She was one of 10 women featured in the 2019 NBC News web series, She Thrives: Black Women Making History Today. She was named one of Time Magazine's 50 Most Influential People in Health Care in 2018. She has been named one of EatingWell's American Food Heroes and received the International Food services Manufacturers Association's (IFMA) 2017 Silver Plate award, the School Nutrition Foundation's 2017 School Nutrition Hero award, Food Service Director Magazine's 2017 Food Service Director of the Year, the Life Time Foundation Healthy Hero award, the 2016 FAME award, as well as the School Nutrition Association of Michigan 2015 Director of the Year.

About Geeta Maker-Clark
Dr. Geeta Maker-Clark is a board-certified family physician specializing in Integrative Medicine, practicing in the Chicago area. She is a clinical assistant professor, and coordinator of Integrative Medical Education for the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine, and on the faculty at the University of Chicago NorthShore Family Medicine Residency program.

About Pilot Light
Pilot Light is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that helps children make healthier choices by connecting the lessons they learn in their classrooms to the foods they eat on their lunch trays, at home, and in their communities. Learn more about Pilot Light at PilotLightChefs.org.


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SOURCE Pilot Light