Last Word with Chef Tom Colicchio

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In the midst of opening his new Manhattan restaurant, Fowler&Wells, the Top Chef judge found time to hit the campaign trail. Colicchio’s “Plate of the Union” truck tailed Clinton and Trump, making the case for a healthier, more equitable food system.

Politics play a role in everything we eat. When we vote, food may not be top-of-mind like the economy or health care. But you can draw a line from food production or poor diets to every hot-button issue. Once you connect those dots, both Democrats and Republicans have an aha moment. It’s part of the reason I co-founded Food Policy Action.

We need a new cabinet position: Secretary of Food. I hope this administration will consider it, with the stated goal of making nutritious food more affordable and accessible to all.

GMOs are the poster child for what’s wrong with labeling. “Natural.” “Local.” “Sustainable.” Misleading packaging creates such confusion, and companies should be held responsible. For the record, you can be for GMO labeling without being anti-GMO or anti-science.

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I rarely fire anyone. But three things truly upset me in the kitchen: being abusive to people; being sexist; and not buying quality ingredients. That’s just lazy.

Seed catalogs are my porn. Three years ago, I started gardening. I have a few beehives, chickens for eggs, and 18 huge vegetable beds. Now, all winter long, I flip through those catalogs like I used to look at Playboy when I was 17.

Tom Colicchio opened his latest eatery, Fowler & Wells, in New York City this fall. For more information about the chef’s nonprofit, check out foodpolicyaction.org.

Last Word with Chef Tom Colicchio