—Systemic change begins with personal change—

767: Andrew Bennett, part 2: Behind the scenes with a New York City chef


If you like food, you'll love this episode. I shared before how unbelievably delicious Andrew's food was, even if it were at a top restaurant. But he works at a hospital, so it was healthy too. I almost don't go to restaurants any more since they just pile salt, sugar, and fat onto everything. I don't need a stick of butter in every dish. I also tasted his food at a chef competition. He's shared his background training at groundbreaking top restaurants. I couldn't help indulge in asking him about behind the scenes in top kitchens and he shared. We talked about his artistry, how he learned, and teamwork. He also shared about his commitment, which led to talking about leadership, changing culture, intrinsic emotion, and liberation. How long can you go without your phone?

762: Chef Andrew Bennett: Changing the Culture of Hospital Food


I start my conversation with Andy with what brought me to him: the meal after recording with the guy who hired him, podcast guest Sven Gierlinger, and the Washington Post article that read like a paid ad for their food, Hospital food is a punchline. These chefs are redefining it. I didn't record in my conversation with Sven how off-the-charts the food was because I at it after recording. Andy was the Executive Chef at the hospital where we met who prepared that food. It was amazing. It would have been amazing in any restaurant, let alone a hospital. We talk about two main things. One was the art of food preparation. Andy shared his path there from washing dishes through working with chef Raymond Blanc, chef Daniel Boulud, and the restaurant Rouge Tomate. At each stage he learned appreciation for ingredients and honed his craft. The other was changing culture. Regular listeners know my goal in sustainability is changing culture. Nearly all attempts to change how our culture impacts Earth's biosphere use technology, market reforms, and legislation. Those things don't change culture. Northwell Health is deliberately changing their culture around food. They've come a long way, but can still go a long way. Changing culture means resistance, including from the people it would help. It's hard and takes a long time. In the case of Northwell, I hear that despite the challenges, nobody wants to go back. We living in unsustainable cultures could benefit from learning what Northwell achieved. Here's the picture Andy mentioned:

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