Louisiana Seafood
Louisiana Seafood

Barton Seaver

Barton Seaver

2015

Judge

Restaurant/Business
For Cod and Country

Barton Seaver is on a mission to restore our relationships with the ocean, the land and with each other—through dinner.

He believes food is a crucial way for us to connect with the ecosystems, people and cultures of our world. After graduating with honors from the Culinary Institute of America, a transformative trip to Morocco landed him in the seaside village of Essaouira, where survival is directly linked to the oceans. His time spent with the locals taught him generations-old fishing methods and shaped his belief that, at its root, sustainability is both an ecological and a humanitarian issue.

As an executive chef, Seaver opened seven restaurants and gained numerous awards and acclaim for his food and for the environmentally conscious businesses he ran. Highlights of his culinary career include being named a three-time Rising Culinary Star, twice earning Best New Restaurant awards and being honored in 2009 by Esquire magazine as Chef of the Year. His restaurant Hook was named one of the top 10 eco-friendly restaurants in America by Bon Appétit magazine.

His passion for serving sustainable foods led him to his titles of Seafood Champion by the Seafood Choices Alliance and as a Legend & Leader in ocean conservation by Blue Vision, as well as his recognition by the Blue Ocean Institute for his efforts.

Seaver left the restaurant industry to pursue his interests in sustainable food systems and to accept a Fellowship with the Explorer Program at the National Geographic Society. For the past three years, he has used this position to explore the confluence of human and ecological health. As part of this exploration, he has traveled the globe and gained deep insight into the human and economic systems that govern our relationship with nature. This knowledge enables him to engage with all sectors of communities, business and government to pursue meaningful change that sustains both human interests and environmental resiliency.

As the author of four books, Seaver continues to explore these themes with home cooks and professionals alike. His first book, For Cod and Country, showcases seasonal seafood, vibrant spices and farm-fresh produce. Recipes for family-friendly meals include easy-to-follow instructions, helpful tips and purchasing recommendations for any cook who aspires to turn a meal into a relationship with the earth's resources and better health. Seaver has also published Foods for Health and the National Geographic Kids Cookbook, both with National Geographic, and Where There's Smoke, a cookbook focused on grilling with sustainable foods. Here he extends his message to meat, seafood and vegetable recipes for the grill and connects our relationship with celebratory food to portion size and the ethics involved in raising food on the land.

Seaver's work as the director of the Healthy and Sustainable Food program at the Center for Health and the Global Environment at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health highlights the important connection between environmental resiliency and human health while ensuring the profitability of food producers. The New England Aquarium named Seaver the first Sustainability Fellow in Residence to help relate the Aquarium's conservation messages to our dinner plates.

As a speaker, Seaver has engaged diverse audiences both domestic and international ranging from dozens of universities, business groups, government officials and community organizations. He is a regular participant at The Aspen Institute and has delivered a talk at a prestigious TED conference.

Seaver's insights into sustainable food have been featured in countless publications including Cooking Light, O, The Oprah Magazine, Every Day with Rachael Ray, Martha Stewart's Whole Living, the Washington Post and Fortune. He has appeared on CNN, 20/20 and NPR's All Things Considered and Weekend Edition, and he hosted the national television programs In Search of Food on the Ovation Network and Eat: The Story of Food on the National Geographic Channel. He is a regular guest on the radio show National Geographic Weekend and a regular contributor to many different media outlets.

In 2012, Seaver was named by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to the American Chef Corps. In this role he helps develop international conversations about sustainability and the role of culinary in resource management and public health.