The spotlight is on food co-ops for the Co+op, welcome to the table video series celebrating the 2012 International Year of Cooperatives, as designated by the United Nations. The series is hosted by celebrity chef Kevin Gillespie, known for his “fan favorite” status on Season 6 of Bravo’s hit show Top Chef. Kevin traveled around the country exploring farm fields and grocery aisles as part of the series. Watch and you’ll quickly discover the many ways food co-ops, their shoppers and owners, and their communities are stronger together.
Kevin traveled from city to city exploring organic farms, community gardens and food co-ops. This 13-episode online video series showcases what he uncovered about the amazing food that co-ops offer and ways co-ops bring farmers, producers and shoppers together.
The first stop, Minneapolis. Minneapolis is a mecca for cooperation, where more than a dozen food co-ops are going strong. Kevin learns exactly how deep the heartland’s roots go by visiting these unique urban and rural communities and how they are transforming how people eat and shop for food.
When Kevin goes east to Vermont, he visits with Vermont governor Peter Shulin, who is a food co-op member fighting the good fight for locally grown food. You’ll find Shulin’s dedication to doing the right thing refreshing and impressive.
After Kevin speaks to the meat buyer at Bellingham Community Food Co-op in the Pacific Northwest, he can’t wait to meet the passionate farmers raising heritage breeds of pork and sheep for the co-op. There's plenty of passion to go around, and Kevin finds no shortage of it when he visits two California co-ops that show him to what lengths co-op members will go to support their local farms.
In Albuquerque, Kevin spends time with chef Jonathan Perno to find out how Los Poblanos Restaurant and Inn partners with La Montañita Food Co-op to deliver great food to patrons. Then he treks out to nearby Los Alamos to visit the brand new Los Alamos Co-op to tell the inspirational story about residents’ efforts to build it.
About the journey, Kevin said, “Everybody has to eat, but you get to choose where you go to get your food. People shop at the co-op because they want to be a part of this community.”