This week on Eating Matters Kim Kessler is joined by Robert Egger, the Founder and President of L.A. Kitchen, which recovers fresh fruits and vegetables to fuel a culinary arts job training program for men and women coming out of foster care and older men and women returning from incarceration. L.A. Kitchen is currently holding a pilot program at St. Vincent Meals on Wheels, and will move into its own kitchen facility in 2015. Robert pioneered this model during his 24 year tenure as the President of the DC Central Kitchen, the country’s first “community kitchen”, where food donated by hospitality businesses and farms is used to fuel a nationally recognized culinary arts job training program. Since opening in 1989, the Kitchen (which is a $11 million a year, self-sustaining, social enterprise) has produced over 26 million meals and helped 1,000 men and women gain full time employment. The Kitchen operates its own revenue generating business, Fresh Start Catering, as well as the Campus Kitchens Project, which coordinates similar recycling/meal programs in over 40 colleges or high school based kitchens. In addition, Robert is the Founder and President of CForward, an advocacy organization that rallies employees of nonprofits to educate candidates about the economic role that nonprofits play in every community, and to support candidates who have detailed plans to strengthen the economy that includes nonprofits. This program was sponsored by Cain Vineyard and Winery .
“Restaurants are the island of misfit toys.” [05:00]
“We’ve raised a generation with the idea that the food pyramid is the way we’re supposed to eat. Industry has become wildly good at figuring out how to addict people to crunchy, sweet, etc.” [24:00]
“I think there’s a tremendous alliance between older eaters and younger millennial eaters that needs to be explored.” [26:00]
–Robert Egger on Eating Matters