Yes, I want to use my position as a leader in the industry to help influence others in the industry.
I hope by teaching people to Eat, Love and Live WELL, we can all come together to make progress in the way we produce food and treat animals to ensure a healthy future generation. I realized that after 25 years, I’ve built a company that makes me proud, but I wanted to use my success as a platform for doing something more socially responsible--something that needed leadership.
I’m hopeful that my initiatives, as well as similar work done by my colleagues, will help to evoke change. For me and my companies, to ensure the wellness of future generations, we want to work only with socially responsible vendors and purveyors.
In order to help others in the industry take similar steps, I want to lead by example. We are working hard to evolve our company to be more responsible and working with our vendors to affect change that will hopefully trickle down within the industry.
I’m hopeful my new wellness initiatives will evoke change throughout the industry. We’ve had great positive feedback from our guests and vendors. Our guests are interested in the same environmental issues that have long concerned us--sustainable farming and fishing, humane treatment of farm animals, and reducing the amount of hormones, antibiotics, preservatives and pesticides in the food we eat. Using fresh, seasonal, organic produce and naturally raised animals enhances and sustains the quality of life, and that is what my philosophy is all about.
To help lead this change, we begun by partnering with The Humane Society of the United States to adopt a nine-point, comprehensive, first-of-its-kind, humane farm-animal treatment program in addition to the third-party auditor who will work to ensure that only the products and ingredients that meet our company standards are put on your plate. Some of our longtime purveyors and partners have long been compliant on many of the Humane Society’s nine points, so we will continue our longstanding relationship with those partners, such as Chino Farms, Snake River Farms and Newport Meats. Some of our current purveyors are in the process of changing to meet our standards, and we will continue to work with all our vendors to partner with us for change. Some of our new partners include MBA Poultry (who provides our Smart Chickens), Norco Ranch (which produces cage-free eggs), Coleman Beef and Strauss Veal.
The philosophy of my cooking and restaurants, for all our customers, is based upon fresh, local produce when we can, natural and organic ingredients, humanely treated; the most delicious innovative tastes; the best in genuine hospitality; and the highest-quality products we can provide. As a result, we have consistently offered and will continue to offer a meaningful selection of vegetarian dishes, many of them suitable as vegan options. Finally, we welcome our vegan guests’ requests to adjust menu items to meet their needs. Over time, we intend to extend these offerings throughout our many restaurants.