10 Ways to Celebrate Sustainable Gastronomy Day

10 Ways to Celebrate Sustainable Gastronomy Day: chefs as catalysts for change

On Sustainable Gastronomy Day, we celebrate the vital role chefs play in crafting a more sustainable food system. As culinary professionals, chefs possess a unique influence over consumers, driving cultural and behavioral shifts toward sustainable practices. Chefs are not merely creators of exquisite dishes; they are educators, innovators, and advocates for a healthier planet.

Chefs as Influencers and Educators

Chefs have the power to shape public opinion and influence food choices. By promoting locally sourced and seasonal ingredients, chefs can guide consumers towards more sustainable eating habits. The culinary arts can be a conduit for sustainability, fostering a deeper appreciation for traditional food practices that respect natural resources and cultural heritage.

Sustainable Gastronomy Day highlights how chefs, through their creativity and commitment, can address global challenges such as food waste, climate crisis, and the loss of biodiversity. By integrating sustainability into their menus, chefs can be agents of change.

Feed the Planet’s Like a Chef St. Lucia graduates, 2024. Read more here.
Taking Action: 10 practical steps for a more conscious kitchen

Culinary professionals are pivotal in championing sustainability in their kitchens and communities, connecting to a global movement towards a better future. Here are 10 practical steps chefs can take to promote sustainability, protect livelihoods, and foster a sustainable food system:

  1. Source Locally and Seasonally: Explore the journey from farm to fork, and prioritize ingredients from local small-scale farmers and suppliers to support regional economies. Engage with local producers to understand the harvesting schedules and plan menus around seasonal produce. This not only ensures the freshest ingredients but also promotes biodiversity and sustainable agriculture.
  2. Minimize Food Waste: Implement strategies to reduce food waste in kitchens, such as nose-to-tail cooking and repurposing leftovers. Educate kitchen staff on proper storage techniques to extend the shelf life of ingredients. Utilize food waste tracking tools to identify and address key areas where waste can be minimized.
  3. Educate and Inspire: Use your platform to educate staff and customers about the importance of sustainable practices. Share stories about the farmers and producers you work with and the benefits of sustainable sourcing. Create awareness through menu descriptions and signage that highlight your commitment to sustainability.
  4. Engage in Continuous Learning: Enroll in programs like Sustainability Education for Culinary Professionals to stay informed about the latest sustainability practices. Attend workshops, conferences, and seminars focused on sustainable gastronomy. Network with other chefs and sustainability experts to exchange ideas and best practices.
  5. Optimize Energy and Water Use: Invest in energy-efficient kitchen equipment and implement practices to reduce water usage. Regularly maintain and update appliances to ensure they operate efficiently. Educate staff on simple habits, such as turning off equipment when not in use and using water-saving techniques during food preparation and cleaning.
  6. Reduce Single-Use Plastics: Transition to reusable, recyclable, or compostable packaging and serving materials. Encourage customers to bring their own containers for takeout and provide incentives for doing so. Work with suppliers to reduce plastic packaging for delivered goods.
  7. Promote Biodiversity: Incorporate diverse and heirloom varieties of fruits, vegetables, and grains into your dishes. Incorporating beans and legumes into your menu not only promotes biodiversity but also provides a nutritious and sustainable protein source. Experiment with lesser-known ingredients that can add unique flavors and nutritional benefits to your menu.
  8. Engage in Community Outreach: Partner with local food banks and shelters to donate surplus food. Organize cooking classes and workshops that teach sustainable cooking techniques to the community. Participate in local farmers’ markets and food festivals to promote sustainable gastronomy.
  9. Lead by Example: Demonstrate leadership in your kitchens by ensuring fair wages, equal opportunities, and continuous training for your team. Champion women’s empowerment in agriculture and culinary arts, advocating for better representation and support in these fields.
  10. Advocate for Change: Participate in community and industry initiatives that promote sustainable food systems. Collaborate with local schools and organizations to teach children about healthy and sustainable eating. Be a citizen chef by advocate for policy changes supporting sustainable agriculture and food systems.

By embracing these actions, chefs can make a significant impact on global sustainability efforts.

Local to Global: taking your impact to the world stage

Chefs can further this impact by engaging in policy advocacy and public education. By collaborating with governments, NGOs, and industry stakeholders, chefs can influence food policy to support sustainable practices. Participating in forums, policy discussions, and campaigns allows chefs to advocate for a food system that prioritizes sustainability, inclusion, and health.

By reducing food waste, sourcing sustainably, and supporting ethical practices, chefs can contribute to United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), especially SDG 2 (Zero Hunger), SDG 3 (Good Health and Well-being), SDG 12 (Responsible Consumption and Production), and SDG 13 (Climate Action). Moreover, by advocating for fair trade, local sourcing, and protecting the livelihoods of farmers and producers, chefs also support SDG 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth) and SDG 10 (Reduced Inequalities).

On this Sustainable Gastronomy Day, let’s celebrate the transformative power of chefs as agents of change. By taking simple, everyday actions, chefs can lead the way toward a more sustainable and delicious food future for all. Through education, advocacy, and practical action, culinary professionals can make a lasting impact on both people and the planet.

Join Us: how you can inspire change with Worldchefs
The Feed the Planet team, June 2024. Read more about the Feed the Planet partnership here.

“Chefs have become increasingly involved in
the global movement to reduce food waste,
championing food waste reduction efforts in their
own restaurants, as well as empowering local
communities to fight food waste. In June 2018, the
World Association of Chefs Societies (World Chefs)
met in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to shed light on the
links between the culinary industry and food waste,
environmental degradation, and hunger.”

Chefs As Agents of Change, FAO and UNESCO Collaboration on Food and Culture

Worldchefs offers resources and education to empower culinary professionals worldwide to be food champions. Whether it be tuning in to Worldchefs’ webcast Sustainability Around the World or exploring Feed the Planet programs, everyone has the opportunity to take action.

One key initiative is Sustainability Education for Culinary Professionals, an open-source online curriculum available on Worldchefs Academy. This comprehensive course, consisting of eight lessons, equips chefs with the knowledge and tools to think and act sustainably. Topics range from sustainable sourcing and food waste reduction to energy efficiency and community engagement. By completing this course, chefs can become champions of sustainability, influencing their peers, patrons, and the broader community.

This October, Worldchefs’ global community will gather together in Singapore for the 2024 Worldchefs Congress. Join the discussion surrounding the biggest challenges and opportunities facing culinary professionals and help inspire trends that will shape the future of the hospitality industry.

Check out the Speakers to discover hospitality professionals paving the way toward a sustainable future. Meet industry leaders like Emile van der Staak, Head Chef of Restaurant De Nieuwe Winkel, and thousands of chefs from around the world with a shared commitment to making a difference.

“The food forest was the catalyst for our story around botanical cuisine. We realise that many of the challenges we face come back to our plates. Our food system is one of the biggest drivers of global warming. That’s why we only use plants: botanical gastronomy.” — Emile van der Staak

Register now to expand your network and gain skills for a more conscious kitchen.

Cover image: A plate from Restaurant De Nieuwe Winkel’s current menu: Awakening.

For more on Social Impact in the Kitchen, join us on June 25th to discover the inspiring journey of Jordann Norbert.

Food Heroes Wins Sustainability Education Award

Food Heroes Wins NORNS Awards Sustainability Education Program 2023

  • Food Heroes, a Feed the Planet initiative driven by Worldchefs, Electrolux Food Foundation, and AIESEC, has won the NORNS Awards Marketing & Creative – Sustainability Education Program 2023.
  • The NORNS Awards celebrate excellence and innovation worldwide by spotlighting professionals and organizations who, through hard work, collaboration, knowledge, and creativity, achieve results worthy of recognition.
  • Food Heroes was developed as part of UNICEF’s World’s Largest Lesson. The interactive workshop has inspired more than 130,000 children all over the world to develop healthier eating habits. Learn more about Feed the Planet programs including Food Heroes at

Paris, 13 July 2023 – The World Association of Chefs’ Societies (Worldchefs), together with Feed the Planet partners Electrolux Food Foundation, accepted the NORNS Awards Marketing & Creative – Sustainability Education Program 2023 for the Food Heroes program’s remarkable contributions to “transforming the landscape of food sustainability and accessibility”.

“It is with great pleasure and a deep sense of admiration that we present this well-deserved recognition,” said NORNS Awards co-founder, Elisa Mattos. “We want to recognize all these professionals who have demonstrated exceptional dedication, creativity, and passion in their respective fields, contributing significantly to building a more equitable and nourishing world, and remind of our collective responsibility to create a more sustainable and equitable food system. Let their achievements serve as a call to action, inspiring each one of us to become agents of change in our own communities.”

Food Heroes
Sustainability Education Award
Norns Awards
World's Largest Lesson

Developed as part of UNICEF’s World’s Largest Lesson, Food Heroes has inspired more than 130,000 children all over the world to develop healthier eating habits toward the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Delivered in more than 30 countries by Worldchefs’ members and Feed the Planet partners Electrolux Food Foundation and AIESEC, the interactive workshop gives kids the superpowers they need to make better everyday food choices to contribute toward a healthier planet.

The open-source Food Heroes toolkit, available in English, Swedish, Romanian, Portuguese, Polish, Hungarian, Spanish, Italian, Ukrainian, and Traditional Chinese, can be used by anyone—from parents and teachers to professional chefs—to raise awareness of the relationship between food and planetary health.

“We are so proud to receive the NORNS Sustainable Education award and for the chance to celebrate all our Food Heroes around the globe,” says Worldchefs President, Thomas A. Gugler. “Feed the Planet initiatives are making a global impact thanks to the dedication and hard work of the Worldchefs’ community, inspiring action in and out of the kitchen. It is so important that we continue our efforts to help youth and families navigate key issues of our time, and we believe in the ‘The Power of the White Jacket’ for chefs to help build a better future.”

“We did it, together,” said Cosimo Scarano, Head of Electrolux Food Foundation. “To know that the judges recognized Food Heroes in the fight against food insecurity, while promoting sustainable food practices and empowering communities fills me with a sense of purpose and heartfelt gratitude to our colleagues, partners, local communities, and educators, as we work together to build a more equitable and nourishing world. Mostly, it reminds me that even small actions make a big difference and that together, we can do so much.”

Become a Food Hero

Food Heroes provides toolkits, quizzes, and resources, along with fun visual assets developed by EY Doberman, to facilitate workshops that bring a sense of joy to discovering new ways of looking at food with engaging exercises, lots of laughter, and knowledge that lasts a lifetime.

Get all tools to run a Food Heroes workshop, available in English, Swedish, Romanian, Portuguese, Polish, Hungarian, Spanish, Italian, Ukrainian, and Traditional Chinese. Click the button below to download the latest version of the Food Heroes PowerPoint slide deck and the toolkit.

Take action

Food Heroes is made possible with the support of Feed the Planet partners and the tireless contributions of Worldchefs’ members around the globe. Worldchefs extends the utmost gratitude to all program participants, local partners, and sponsors who contribute to all Feed the Planet initiatives.

“Our amazing Food Heroes partnership has reached over 100,000 kids, with so many professional chefs active in countries around the globe,” says Ragnar Fridriksson, Worldchefs Managing Director. “Together we are working to empower and educate the next generation about healthy, nutritious food, which is so important to us.”

To learn more about Feed the Planet, visit

Read more in the latest issue of Worldchefs Magazine

Head to page 45 in Issue 29 to read more about how Feed the Planet programs are making an impact around the globe.

From mastering the art of sustainable cooking to embracing the latest technological advancements in the kitchen, Worldchefs Magazine is your guide to staying at the forefront of the culinary profession. 

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