Our Mission

The Chef Action Network (CAN) is a non-profit organization that gives back to the chefs who cook from their souls, donate their time and talent, and help us better understand the many complex issues related to food.

The Chef Action Network (CAN) 

From food sustainability to social justice, chefs are eager to exercise solid leadership within the many food-related conversations of today. Their influence on business, the economy, various forms of media, and their countless communities is enormous. Their inherent leadership style is striking in a world that cries out for greater leadership and authenticity.

It is the intention of CAN to effectively help these talented, passionate chefs tap into their inner advocate, and provide the tools, training, and support infrastructure to ensure their success. 

First Steps

The James Beard Foundation, in partnership with CAN, conducts two learning opportunities each year called The Chefs Boot Camp for Policy & Change. At Boot Camp, the chefs build new networks, share their vision for food sustainability and leave eager for a next step. Chefs who have participated to date, many of whom include James Beard Award Winners and appear on numerous popular food television programs, set out inspired to get down to the business of making change. These participating chefs become core members of CAN.

Next Steps

Once chefs complete a session, they are provided with a suite of services unique to the Network. CAN becomes their personal and professional partner in advocacy, research, training, awareness, and direct action. Chefs are full of passion but short on time. The Chef Action Network provides preeminent chefs with the guidance, skills, and tools to effectively drive change. 

CAN’s Leadership

 Katherine Miller, Founding Executive Director of Chef Action Network

Maria Hines, Chef/Owner of Tilth, Golden Beetle, and Agrodolce

Eric Kessler, Founder of Arabella Advisors

Kris Moon, Director of Strategic Partnerships of the James Beard Foundation

Michel Nischan, Chef and Founder/CEO of Wholesome Wave

Hari Pulapaka, Chef/Owner of Cress and Associate Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science at Stetson University

Andrea Reusing, Chef/Owner of Lantern and the Lantern Table

CAN’s Vision

Develop a national network of influential chefs and restauranteurs committed to driving change

Credibly connect chefs to information and organizations focused on critical issues

Work with chefs to maximize the impacts of their newly found voices & advocacy efforts

Support chefs in creating and taking leadership role in the local and national initiatives they care about


“Food is our common ground, a universal experience.”
— James Beard