“I’ve first heard of the Chefs’ Manifesto during a Sustainable Development & Gastronomy symposium in Bilbao in 2018. I thought that it was a great idea to let chefs motivate other chefs, and something our partners would be interested in reading”, says Judit Varga, director of the Heroes of Responsible Dining Foundation.
The Heroes of Responsible Dining Foundation (Felelős Gasztrohős Alapítvány), which translated the Chefs’ Manifesto into Hungarian, aims to raise public awareness about the environmental effects of food consumption and support sustainable and healthy eating. The group encourages individuals to choose local and seasonal products, eat less meat and dairy, and reduce their food waste – goals overlapping with many of the Chefs’ Manifesto thematic areas. The foundation believes that with environmentally friendly gastronomic solutions we can make our meals greener and healthier, thereby doing good for both people and planet. It does this by launching challenges and campaigns such as educational activities for kindergarten kids and students or playful, educational team building workshops for company employees. Examples of their campaigns include Straw Free August, Eat Seasonal on Valentine’s Day (with a famous Hungarian actor), Hungary’s ‘Superfood’ Map and Green Table - discussion rounds about sustainability. The foundation also has a product line and mobile application, in which users can easily find a Sustainable Restaurant or a grocery store that sells local, organic produce.
Since the foundation of the NGO in 2012, they have won multiple awards, motivated millions of people to eat more responsibly and supported many restaurants in adopting more sustainable practices.
To that end, the Heroes of Responsible Dining Foundation has developed a certification system that recognises green restaurants and encourages the participants in the foodservice industry to invest in environmentally friendly solutions. More than 50 restaurants are currently using this Sustainable Restaurant certification in Hungary. The criteria for the Sustainable Restaurant certification include a minimum of 30% local ingredients, a certain number of vegetarian dishes and organic ingredients on the menu, no use of styrofoam packaging, and encourages the use of biodegradable cleaning products.
The certified restaurants get a discount on dozens of environmentally friendly products, can use the certification for marketing purposes, and their employees can participate in the events organised by the Foundation free of charge. The most successful one is the Gastronomic Rendezvous, where chefs can meet local producers and taste their products.
After publishing the Chefs’ Manifesto on World Food Day in October 2019, the NGO started to look for supporters: 8 chefs that could become the face of each of the 8 thematic areas of the Manifesto. Their goal is to film short videos with each of them, and use those videos to develop a series of classes to educate people about how each of us can contribute to a better food system.
Stay tuned to learn more about how the Chefs’ Manifesto is spreading in Hungary & find other Chefs' Manifesto translations at www.chefsmanifesto.com!