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When my son was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes 20 years ago, the first thing I learned was that his long-term health would be dependent on food, more than anything else. The second thing I learned was that Type 2 diabetes is preventable— and even reversible, in some cases—when people make healthy food choices. Today there are more than 40 million people living in poverty who need information—and funds—to help them make healthy food choices. If we can get affordable, healthy food to underserved communities, we can empower people to make healthier food choices and improve their long-term health. This is the driving force behind Wholesome Wave.

There are so many ways! Shop at farmers’ markets in neighborhoods that serve less fortunate communities; the extra business stabilizes the market. Volunteer with community-based organizations that bring local food to underserved communities through farm stands, farmers’ markets, CSA shares, etc. Donate! And let your local representatives know you want their efforts to be spent supporting legislation that will allow all Americans, regardless of income, to feed their families well.

What’s your favorite vegetable to cook with?
Rutabaga will forever be my all time favorite vegetable

What's your biggest chef confession?
Bacon! Lots and lots of bacon!

What’s your least-favorite food trend right now?
Molecular gastronomy in the wrong hands. And there are a lot of the wrong hands out there.

What chef inspires you?
Jacques Pépin

Why did you choose to become a chef?
Because I was good at cooking and could get paid to feed myself and others. It was a common-sense decision that was also delicious!

What is your favorite food memory?
Standing on a step stool in my mother’s kitchen at age 3—trying to squeeze my pinky with my thumb to show her I was 3—all while watching her can tomatoes on a hot August day. I can smell it, and see her smile with pride at me.

What’s your favorite quick and simple meal to make?
Eggs from my nine chickens scrambled with whatever comes out of my garden at that moment. Right now, it’s a lot of nearly frozen carrots and parsnips.

What’s your favorite:
Breakfast? Above
Lunch? Kale salad with nuts and apples, or whatever else is available
Dinner? Chicken and dumplings
Snack? Good leftovers