Barton Seaver is on a mission to restore our relationship with the ocean, the land, and with each other—through dinner.
He believes food is a crucial way for us to connect with the ecosystems, people, and cultures of our world. After graduating with honors from the Culinary Institute of America, a transformative trip to Morocco landed him in the seaside village of Essaouira, where survival is directly linked to the oceans. His time spent with the locals taught him generations-old fishing methods and shaped his belief that, at its root, sustainability is both an ecological and a humanitarian issue.
As an executive chef, Seaver opened seven restaurants and gained numerous awards and acclaim for his food and for the environmentally conscious businesses he ran. Highlights of his culinary career include three times being named a Rising Culinary Star, twice earned Best New Restaurant awards, and in 2009 Seaver was honored by Esquire magazine as Chef of the Year. His restaurant Hook was named by Bon Appetit magazine as one of the top ten eco-friendly restaurants in America.
His passion for serving sustainable foods led him to be named a Seafood Champion by the Seafood Choices Alliance, a Legend & Leader in ocean conservation by Blue Vision, and was recognized by the Blue Ocean Institute for his efforts on behalf of our blue planet.
Barton left the restaurant industry to pursue his interests in sustainable food systems and accepted a Fellowship with the Explorer Program at the National Geographic Society. For the past three years he has used this position to explore the confluence of human and ecological health. As part of this exploration Barton has traveled the globe and gained deep insight into the human and economic systems that govern our relationship with nature. This knowledge enables him to engage with all sectors of communities, business, and governments to pursue meaningful change that sustains both human interests and environmental resiliency.
Barton’s work as the Director of the Healthy and Sustainable Food Program at the Center for Health and the Global Environment at Harvard's School of Public Health aims to highlight the important connection between environmental resiliency and human health while ensuring the profitability of local food producers. Complementary to his role at Harvard, the New England Aquarium named Barton their first Sustainability Fellow in Residence to help relate the Aquarium’s conservation messages with our dinner plates.
As the author of two books, Barton continues to explore these themes with the home cook. His first book, For Cod & Country, showcases seasonal seafood, vibrant spices, and farm-fresh produce. Recipes for family-friendly meals include easy-to-follow instructions, helpful tips, and purchasing recommendations for any cook who aspires to turn a meal into a relationship with our resources and better health. Seaver released his second cookbook, Where There’s Smoke in April of 2013. Here he extends his message to meat, seafood, and vegetable recipes for the grill and connects our relationship with celebratory food with portion size and the ethics involved in raising food on the land.
As a speaker, Barton has engaged diverse audiences both domestic and international ranging from dozens of universities, business groups, government officials, and community organizations. He is a regular participant at the Aspen Institute, and has delivered a talk at the prestigious TED conference.
Seaver’s insights into sustainable food have been featured in countless publications including Cooking Light, O: The Oprah Magazine, Every Day with Rachael Ray, Martha Stewart’s Whole Living, the Washington Post, and Fortune. He has appeared on CNN, NPR’s All Things Considered and Weekend Edition, 20/20, and hosted the national television program In Search of Food on the Ovation Network. He is a regular guest on the radio show National Geographic Weekend and a regular contributor to the National Geographic blog Ocean Views.
Recently, Barton was named by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to the United States Culinary Ambassador Corp.
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