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ThinkFoodGroup


This morning José Andrés, long someone I've hoped would be a Food Channel contributor, has given us the first of many strong pieces with his call for support of the Child Nutrition Reauthorization Act, "the most important piece of legislation that no one has ever heard of."

José isn't just a big-hearted chef who cares about school lunch—a group of which there is happily an ever-increasing number. He's right in the middle of Washington, and the rare chef who not only has a national reputation and visibility but is in a position to press for change using soft power—after all, his Minibar is, Zeke thinks, the best restaurant in Washington.

He's right in the middle of Washington, and the rare chef who not only has a national reputation and visibility but is in a position to press for change using
soft power.

And José is an endlessly active chef with an endlessly active mind, as I've had the chance to observe this week. He's been at Harvard translating for Ferran Adria in the debut of the School of Engineering and Applied Science's fall course on science and cooking, a course I'm keeping close tabs on and will have a lot more to say about. So will José, who'll be back up here soon.

He'll have a lot more to say on the other projects he's working on, which are as varied and far-ranging as, well, any chef with a base in Washington, a wildly popular restaurant in Los Angeles (The Bazaar by José Andrés), new restaurants on the way, constant loyalty and attention to his native country (Spain) would have. Plus equally ambitious humanitarian projects he'll be telling us about here, starting with his longtime work as a leader of DC Central Kitchen, his recent work in Haiti, and going on from there.

Today José points out that the current child-nutrition bill expires at the end of this month, and (as I've pointed out) the pre-summer recess robbing of the food-stamp program to help fund teachers' salaries is not the way to advance school food. José is mad, and right to be. He hopes that

when the House comes back to D.C. from summer break, I hope they will have the brains to find the money quickly and pass their bill so we can begin the new school year with a new promise to our kids, based on a REAL investment.

It's a great thought to carry us into the new year—whether we're thinking of the new school year or 5117.

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Corby Kummer's work in The Atlantic has established him as one of the most widely read, authoritative, and creative food writers in the United States. The San Francisco Examiner pronounced him "a dean among food writers in America." More

Corby Kummer's work in The Atlantic has established him as one of the most widely read, authoritative, and creative food writers in the United States. The San Francisco Examiner pronounced him "a dean among food writers in America." Julia Child once said, "I think he's a very good food writer. He really does his homework. As a reporter and a writer he takes his work very seriously." Kummer's 1990 Atlantic series about coffee was heralded by foodies and the general public alike. The response to his recommendations about coffees and coffee-makers was typical--suppliers scrambled to meet the demand. As Giorgio Deluca, co-founder of New York's epicurean grocery Dean & Deluca, says: "I can tell when Corby's pieces hit; the phone doesn't stop ringing." His book, The Joy of Coffee, based on his Atlantic series, was heralded by The New York Times as "the most definitive and engagingly written book on the subject to date." In nominating his work for a National Magazine Award (for which he became a finalist), the editors wrote: "Kummer treats food as if its preparation were something of a life sport: an activity to be pursued regularly and healthfully by knowledgeable people who demand quality." Kummer's book The Pleasures of Slow Food celebrates local artisans who raise and prepare the foods of their regions with the love and expertise that come only with generations of practice. Kummer was restaurant critic of New York Magazine in 1995 and 1996 and since 1997 has served as restaurant critic for Boston Magazine. He is also a frequent food commentator on television and radio. He was educated at Yale, immediately after which he came to The Atlantic. He is the recipient of five James Beard Journalism Awards, including the MFK Fisher Distinguished Writing Award.
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