Ecorazzi’s Food Editorial Series is brought to you by Ecorazzi Eats Restaurant Week happening in vegan, vegetarian, & sustainable restaurants across the US on October 12-19, 2011.

The world of food is becoming a leading factor in the green movement. As people decide they want to live better, eat better, and feel better about their food choices many green chefs have stepped up to the plate in order to give those same people exactly what they want– good wholesome food. That food might be vegetarian, vegan, and/or sustainable. We scoured social networking sites to find out who the best green chefs to follow were. Here is our top 10 list of green chefs in no particular order:

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Alice Waters

Chef, author and propietor of Chez Panisse, Alice Waters has been a leader in the green food movement for many years. Her endeavours started with The Edible School Yard, a curriculum of food education, that started in 1996 at Berkeley’s Martin Luther King, Jr., Middle School with a one acre garden and a kitchen in the classroom. Similar programs sprouted up across the land once Water’s idea took root. Her green efforts have not gone unnoticed. She strives to keep her restaurant sustainable by using locally produced ingredients. In 2008, she was recognized along side Kofi Annan and given the Global Environmental Citizen Award.  We highly recommend trying out her vegetarian recipe for Lentil Salad. It is delicious! Follow Chef Waters on Twitter, Facebook, or visit Chez Panisse.

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Isa Chandra Moskowitz

Chef, activist and former host of Post Punk Kitchen, Isa Chandra Moskowitz has made an impact on the vegan movement in quite an extraordinary way. She was one of the first chefs to create a vegan cooking show when there were none in existence. Her show Post Punk Kitchen only aired for a few years (2003-2005) on community access television in Brooklyn and Manhattan before it went on hiatus. However the website stayed strong with a community of vegan supporters and those leaning toward a vegan diet. Although, Post Punk Kitche went off air it didn’t stop Moskowitz from being active in spreading the vegan movement. She is the author of best-selling cookbooks Vegan with a Vengeance, Veganomicon, and Appetite for Reduction. She launched Apron Activists, a group of vegans who help save animals and promote animal rights. She raised funds for the 2010 Haiti earthquake relief efforts by encouraging fellow vegans to host bake sales and she is constantly working to change peoples perceptions of vegan food by offering up delicious dishes. You can follow Isa on Twitter, on her blog, or read her column in Bust magazine.


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Michael Symon

Iron Chef Michael Symon might not be the first chef you think of in the green food movement because he is neither vegan nor vegetarian. However, he has been a leader in the growing sustainable food culture. In 2010, Chef Symon hosted Farm Aid 25: Growing Hope for America, a cause that uses music to celebrate healthy food and family farming. Symon’s sustainablility is showcased in the use of local and seasonal ingredients. To make the biggest impact on the sustainable food movement, Symon recommends that people start at home. He told Positive Impact Magazine, “Never underestimate the power you have on your children. They’re affected by your actions and the choices you make.” You can follow Chef Michael Symon on Twitter and on Facebook.

Photo Credit: William Morrow Cookbooks

Tal Ronnen

Better known as “The Concious Cook” Tal Ronnen is rather hard to track down through social media. He gained fame for creating the foods Oprah ate while she did the 21 Day Cleanse. He is probably one of the most celebrated vegan chefs in the world today. And there is a reason why. His recipes have an artisan quality with a delightful pairing of flavors for your palate to enjoy. Try Chef Tal Ronnen’s recipe for “chicken” scaloppini with shiitake sake sauce just once and you’ll be a fan for life. Follow this vegan chef at his website, on twitter, or at LYFE (Love Your Food Everyday) Kitchen for delicious, nutritrious and satisfying food recipes approved by Ronnen.

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Wolfgang Puck

Chef Wolfgang Puck is one of the most famous chefs in the world. His fame from Spago, a restaurant celebrities are just dying to get into, is just one reason he is a notable chef. But he is also a leader in the restaurant industry who stands by a green philosphy when it comes to his food. Pucks WELL™  philosphy is a beautiful one; Wolfgang’s, Eat, Love, Live (WELL™). According to Wolfgang’s Green Now, This philosphy, “addresses the critical need to create a new standard in food production that celebrates local farmers, promotes sustainable seafood and humanely treated animals, while offering the most innovative and delicious tastes.” You can follow the celebrity chef on Twitter or on his website.

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Emeril Lagasse

Bam!” Emeril Lagasse has earned a spot on our list as a green chef for his dedication to using wholesome, sustainable, organic products in his recipes. He has become a leader for those just starting out at home who want to eat healthier and move toward eating food that is better for the environment also. His show Emeril Green is broadcast to millions of viewers and helps regular people learn the pizzazz of organic cooking. One of the best vegetarian recipes Lagasse helped a young man create was Emeril’s Linguine with Dried Mushrooms and Scallions. There is definitely a  “Bam” moment when eating it.  You can follow Emeril on Twitter, on his website, or by watching Planet Green on Discovery.

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Beverly Lynn Bennett

Better known as The Vegan Chef, Chef Beverly focuses on the various ways to create delicious, vegan foods that are wheat-free, gluten-free, low-fat, raw, and/or sugar-free. She believes in eating organically grown plant-based foods and keeping her recipes animal-free. Her newest book is a must have for anyone wanting to go gluten-free and vegan. The book, “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Gluten-Free Vegan Cooking will be available this December. You can follow Chef Beverly Lynn Bennett on her website or on Twitter, but she hasn’t updated her twitter status since April of 2010. We are guessing that is because she has been hard at work on her vegan cook books and speaking at events across the country to promote vegan eating. She is a regular columnist for VegNews.

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Jose Garces

Another Iron Chef has made our list of chefs following the green food movement. Chef Jose Garces not only used local, seasonal, sustainable foods, but is also bettering the environment by collecting the used cooking oil from his restaurants to convert it to biodiesel to power his farm in Bucks County. The partnership with Bucks County Freedom Fuel completes the circle from farm to restaurant and back to the farm. The partnership shows Garces sustainable attitude toward cooking, giving back to the land, and creating a better environment to live in. You can follow Iron Chef Jose Garces on Twitter.

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Jamie Oliver

If you don’t know who the “Naked Chef” is then you haven’t been following his efforts to create a better food system starting where most kids get their lunch– school. Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution has swept the nation by storm and help thousands of kids learn how to create a “healthier well-balanced meal” than what they were getting pre-prepared and pre-packaged in some school districts. Oliver’s philosphy is, “about enjoying everything in a balanced, and sane way. Food is one of life’s greatest joys yet we’ve reached this really sad point where we’re turning food into the enemy, and something to be afraid of. I believe that when you use good ingredients to make pasta dishes, salads, stews, burgers, grilled vegetables, fruit salads, and even outrageous cakes, they all have a place in our diets. We just need to rediscover our common sense: if you want to curl up and eat macaroni and cheese every once in a while – that’s alright! Just have a sensible portion next to a fresh salad, and don’t eat a big old helping of chocolate cake afterwards.” You can follow this chef on Twitter,on his website, or on Facebook.

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Ani Phyo

Chef Ani Phyo is one of our favorite chefs on the green scene. She is an eco-lifestylist and an organic food author. She has been featured in Food & Wine magazine, Delicious Living magazine, appeared on Better TV, and has lauched a “Raw Food” tour that showcases raw food with an asian flair. Her recipes are always vegan, raw and uncooked, and utilize organic fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds.  We happened to love all the recipes in her Delicious Living feature from April 2011, but if we had to pick one only we would recommend her Zucchini Spring Rolls with Lime-Cashew Dipping Sauce (page 31). You can follow Chef Ani Phyo on her website where she blogs often, Twitter, Facebook, or follow her video series on Youtube.

These are just a sampling of the coolest green chefs out in the world. We know there are many more that deserve recognition. Who is your favorite green chef? Is it because they use sustainable foods, organic ingredients, or because they stick with vegan and vegetarian recipes? Let us know in the comments section below.

Mark your calendars for Ecorazzi Eats Restaurant Week, October 12-19, 2011 in veg*n and eco-friendly restaurants in cities nationwide! There is still time to for readers to suggest a restaurant or for restaurants (or even food trucks!) to sign up to participate.

(Main image background photo credit: Flickr/Creative Commons)


About lindastcyr

Linda St.Cyr is a writer, blogger, activist, and short story author. When she isn’t writing or raising her kids with her life partner, she is busy being vocal about feeding the hungry, sheltering the homeless, and bringing attention to human rights violations all over the world.

View all posts by lindastcyr →
  • Brook

    While he’s not an internationally claimed chef…yet, Chad White of San Diego’s Sea Rocket Bistro (, a cozy nook committed to sustainability (read: they only serve seafood caught locally and humanely raised non-seafood animals and mostly locally-grown produce) is one to watch. He uses fish that are less taxing on the environment (those lower on the food chain), so sardines are a specialty. His sea urchin come from local diver Mitch — and they’re brought to him alive. He serves them the second he opens them up. He’s a genius — a mad food genius.

  • Jeff

    Don’t forget Nora Pouillon. Her restaurant in D.C. was the nation’s first certified organic restaurant. She’s one of the most talented chefs I’ve ever met. Check her out. . .

  • herwin

    exciting post, thanks ! keep us a little bit up to date about these chefs, except Jamie, bluh, ditch him.
    Only this year I tried some recipes from Isa’s Vegan With A Vengeance and , wow, holy smoke, blasting recipes that none of my previous cooking books had, anyone not having her cooking books, buy or visit her site with other really unique and helpful recipes.
    again, happy to see this post and giving some sunlight to these chefs.

  • Amanda

    I am slightly disappointed by this. While I appreciate chefs trying to be more green, tons of evidence is out there that eating animals is NOT GREEN!! When eating ,which we do at least 3x a day, is the biggest contributor to our carbon footprint and global climate change, then you are not green or sustainable if you eat animals! Chef Symon is known as “meat-centric.” – that is not green regardless where his dead animals came from.

    • herwin

      i agree with you Amanda, “organic” or not, meat isnt green, healthy, or sustainable, and it always involves the killing of an abused animal.
      Just like we vegs are promoting vegetarianism, so are these meat chefs actively promoting meat in their books, magazines, and websites. We should expose them, not celebrate them with eyes closed.

  • Elena

    I totally agree with Amanda.

  • SorenConrad

    Looking at the people that was listed I knew what the comments below this article would be. Eating meat is not as green and it is all of what people listed on here, mean to animals, poor for health. But I don’t mind some of those people listed though. Just because they aren’t as “green” as others doesn’t mean they are not having a big impact. Infact I would say they are having a bigger impact then people like Tal or Ani because their popularity is much bigger and can reach a different crowd. I didn’t become Vegan overnight, I was a vegetarian first, I wasn’t a vegetarian first, I was limiting harm by only eating some meat. I wasn’t a flexitarian first I just was having 3 days a week for health reasons and not because of animal rights. Just because we are vegans and have made the journey doesn’t mean we should shun everyone that hasn’t made the full journey yet. These Chefs are brining awareness that our food has impact on our environment, which could very well lead to some people gaining more awareness about their food and animal welfare. The only thing I don’t like about the vegan movement is that a lot of people in it get an “all or nothing” attitude and very confrontational about it. Black and white thinking leads to hypocrisy which under minds the movement.

  • Karen

    My favorite is Ron Russell, owner and a chef at SunCafe in Los Angeles.

    Vegan and mostly raw food, all organic, but most importantly the tastiest veg restaurant in L.A. Also, To Go containers are bio-degradable sugar cane.

    Must tries include kale shake, raw nachos, supreme pizza and cookie dough pie (all their desserts are gluten free too. Yeah!)