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What's a good way to connect with chefs?

I'm putting together a startup that provides an ecologically-minded service to restaurants and would like to reach out to a number of chefs to survey whether my idea makes sense. what are some good places to meet chefs and/or reach out to them?

12 Replies

Irwin Stein
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Irwin Stein Advisor
Very experienced (40 years) corporate,securities and real estate attorney.
Try one of the better cooking schools such as the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco. Plenty of great chefs among their faculty and alumni.
Julie Gengo
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Julie Gengo Entrepreneur
Senior Communications and Marketing Professional
Why don't you reach out to SlowMoney.org. I'm sure there is a chapter in LA and they are all about connecting sustainable projects to food related businesses.
Tanya Wright
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Tanya Wright Entrepreneur
Crystal Burset on ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK and creator of HAIRiette of HARLEM hairiette.com
Trade shows/conventions that cater to chefs if you want to reach a wide swath if them. Flip through food/trade magazines, too--you should come up with a slew of ideas. Also...maybe meetups?
Dick Dawson
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Dick Dawson Entrepreneur • Advisor
Enterprise Sales Director at Promoboxx
Instead of cooking schools, which are good, but not great for this sort of thing - why not try an organization like Chefs Collaborative (http://www.chefscollaborative.org/hello/) which is an organization that seems to be very well aligned with your mission. I know them, they're doing great work. Reach out!
Ken Waagner
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Ken Waagner Advisor
Digital Strategy, Interactive and Streaming Media Professional
The American Culinary Federation are also a good partner worth reaching out to - have active memberships in every major city.

Michael Leeds
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Michael Leeds Entrepreneur • Advisor
CEO & Founder
I've done this in the past, and it's not easy. Lots of people want to talk to chefs, so they often have stopped listening. That said, they are used to people stopping by their restaurants WHEN THE RESTAURANT ISN'T BUSY, so you can try that. Also, you can try aggregation points like the GGRA ( http://ggra.org/) that work with groups of restaurants, but this is also hit and miss. --ml ---------- Video as a Service @ http://www.r3lish.com/
Maureen Whitehouse
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Maureen Whitehouse Entrepreneur
Award-winning Inspirational Speaker and Best Selling Author, CEO Axiom - experienceaxiom.com
I whole heartedly agree - Chef's Collaborative is the way to go!
Becky Winnick
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Becky Winnick Entrepreneur
Teaching Assistant - Materials Chemistry Lab & Analytical Chemistry Lab at The University of British Columbia
https://chefsroll.com/ The professional network for chefs
Dhiren Mewada
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Dhiren Mewada Entrepreneur
Director, Finance & Corporate Strategy
All are good recommendations. Reaching out to culinary schools like the CIA or ICI and asking them to include a survey link in their alumni newsletter could be effective. Also, many chefs run in the same circles and if they like what your concept they will happily introduce you to others.
Erick Calder
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Erick Calder Entrepreneur
Solutions Architect at Union Bank/MUFG
thanks everyone for the great answers. I have a lot to follow up on!
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