Recommitting to our core values in a time of great change
Since 2005, Bon Appétit chefs across the nation have celebrated the Eat Local Challenge every September. Each chef creates a meal with 100% locally sourced ingredients from farms, ranches, and food businesses located within 150 miles of their cafés. (Salt is the only exception to the locally sourced rule, though some enthusiastic coastal chefs have even gone to harvest local sea salt!) The Eat Local Challenge brings our guests closer to the sources of the food they eat and the people that produce it — including our Farm to Fork partners.
This year, the Eat Local Challenge is more important than it has ever been. The COVID-19 pandemic has fundamentally altered the food service and hospitality industries, shuttering many beloved cafés and restaurants either temporarily or permanently. For Bon Appétit, this has been a time of deep reflection. While we’re reinventing the way we serve food to guests to ensure we’re doing it in the safest way possible, we remain steadfast in our core values of wellness, dignity, community, and conservation. To us, food still matters — maybe more than ever. We remain committed to local, seasonal, and sustainable sourcing, to finding ways to strengthen our food system, and to minimizing waste where possible.
So, for this year’s Eat Local Challenge, our chefs will still create 100% local meals where our cafes are open, but they may look different than they have in previous years. In your café, it might be a pre-packaged grab-and-go entrée or a hot meal you preorder for pickup. If you’re at home, we challenge you to shop locally. No matter what form the Eat Local Challenge meal takes this year, know that it’s a delicious symbol of the commitments to environmental and social responsibility you’ve come to expect in your Bon Appétit café every day.