Chef Peter Hoffman: Death By Oil

Chef Peter Hoffman: Death By Oil
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Even since I've know chef Peter Hoffman--some twenty years--he's walked his talk. Or should I say bicycled?

For decades before bike lanes showed up on NYC streets, Hoffman biked to his Soho Restaurant, Savoy and now to the recently opened Back Forty. He was one of the first chefs to source his food locally and do everything else possible to run his restaurant kitchens in a sustainable way.

Hoffman soon linked up with other chefs in The Chefs Collaborative, an organization whose inspiring mission includes the statement that "Good food begins with unpolluted air, land, and water, environmentally sustainable farming and fishing, and humane animal husbandry."

I recently ran into Hoffman at The Wild Food Gatherers display and tasting at the Marble Cemetery in Manhattan. He was there to taste the wild watercress, stinging nettles, and wintergreen berries gathered lovingly and sustainably (leaving plenty behind to re-seed) by Les Hook & Nova Kim in Vermont.

But when I asked him what was on his mind, it wasn't so much the fascinating, fresh food we were there to taste.

"I can't stop thinking about the BP oil spill," Hoffman admitted. "It brings into focus our addiction to oil."

Here's more of what Peter Hoffman so eloquently had to say on that sunny day in New York City--so far from the BP oil spill, yet so much closer than we'd like to think.

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