From Kitchens to Capitol Hill: Chef Micah Klasky’s Culinary Journey for a Cause with No Kid Hungry

Interview by No Kid Hungry culinary partnerships & event team associate, Dan Salisbury. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Micah Klasky is the Executive Chef of The Hive at the 21c Museum Hotel in Bentonville, AR. We caught up with him to learn about his work with No Kid Hungry, Chefs Cycle, and more! As Share Our Strength, the organization behind No Kid Hungry, celebrates 40 years working for kids and families, we recognize our partnership with chefs as essential allies to support our mission. 

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What do you want people to know about you?

I'm a collection of where I’ve been and who I’ve had the honor of working alongside. I was fortunate to land in a kitchen with people who had a passion for the craft and were ready to share it with anyone willing to learn. That’s who I hope to be now; someone who makes good food and shares what I can with the next generation. 

How did you first connect with No Kid Hungry? 

Hunger might not have touched my life directly, but growing up I witnessed the struggle firsthand. One key memory was watching a friend of mine, who was a teenage mother of 3, walk the aisles of the discount grocery store as she struggled to make the best of her limited WIC vouchers. I think of my position here as executive chef as a platform, and if you have a platform, it's your responsibility to use it to try to do some good. No Kid Hungry’s mission resonates with me. 

I was lucky to get involved in this work by being in the right place at the right time a few years ago. I started behind the scenes helping in the kitchen for No Kid Hungry Dinners with chefs I worked for and who I still call friends. From Bentonville to Louisville, I've had the privilege of helping pull off some of the most rewarding, enjoyable evenings of my life.

Why did you sign up to ride in Chefs Cycle?

300 miles over 3 days is certainly an incredible goal! Last June, I traveled to Washington, DC to join Share Our Strength for a culinary advocacy day on Capitol Hill. While on a break, Debbie Shore, the organization's co-founder, tapped my shoulder and said she wants me at Chefs Cycle in 2024. At that moment I said yes, not fully understanding what Chefs Cycle was. I came home and immediately started looking for a bike. I’m very fortunate to be living in a bike-centric area with the amount of resources that I've been able to tap into locally.

I keep telling people I'm not a cyclist. But apparently, I'm an okay fundraiser! I've got a coach, a state record holder, who's training me. It's great getting out for a ride with friends because they are active cyclists. I'm able to connect on another level with people I've known for decades, and we finally have a good excuse to get out there.

I'm thrilled for the ride! My joke is that I don't exist outside the kitchen. So for me to really get behind doing something, I have to tie it into my work life. And so Chefs Cycle is an amazing excuse for me to do something good for the country and myself at the same time. I can get out to train, and it’s almost like I trick my brain into wanting to exercise.

Tell us more about your Chefs Cycle dinner fundraiser at The Hive. 

The dinner fundraiser at the Hive [for Chefs Cycle] was great, and the guests enjoyed themselves. The food was amazing. Big thanks to 21c, Rebecca Masson, Nelson German, Luke Wetzel, Arturo Solis, Jeff Chanchaleune, among so many others, for their help! My goal was to raise $60k, and we ended up raising upwards of $80k to help kids living with hunger! It was fun and really successful.

This is the second fundraising event for No Kid Hungry that I've spearheaded, as opposed to just executing in the back of house. Honestly, not only did I invite the guest chefs that I connected with on the Hill at Advocacy Day last June, but we also had just friends from the area who were like, “Hey, I haven't been in the kitchen in a while. Can I come, hang out and help?” My local friends brought a few of their friends to help out and it grew from there - we always know that these events are going to be fun and they're going to be impactful."



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For more - View Chef Micah’s video clip on Chefs Cycle here! 

Can you share more about your experience with the No Kid Hungry Advocacy Day last June?

You mentioned that you connected with chefs Nelson German and Rebecca Masson who cooked at the Hive fundraiser - tell us more about how the impact the trip had on you getting to visit Capitol Hill alongside a cohort of 15 chefs from across the country. 

It was an amazing experience. When I got the invitation I didn't give it a second thought. It was absolutely - I'll do this. Getting to go up there and be a part of that to see where the money [the organization raises] goes… You get to really put some thought and focus into genuinely addressing the issues. It's not just talk by that point. It's not just good intentions. We are shaking hands and looking these lawmakers  in the eye who are actually going to be making these choices. And we as chefs get to give our impassioned plea directly to the people that need to hear it. 

We were able to visit our state legislator’s office and have a great conversation. It felt good. It felt casual, you know, but it felt like we were having some real conversations. Being able to actually talk to these people, look them in the eye and hear their response -  you feel the energy in the room where it feels like there is genuine care and interest in hearing and understanding.

I also got to meet a lot of people and make a lot of new friends. And so when it came time for us to send invites out to a few chefs for dinner, I had a bit of a Rolodex of chefs to reach out to, which was nice! 

Lastly, what’s your favorite food or drink at the moment?

I haven’t been able to get enough spam and eggs lately. Fried spam glazed in a bit of teriyaki, scrambled eggs, white rice, kimchi and furikake. Breakfast, lunch and dinner, it never gets old.

For more on chefscycle, please visit and follow our IG @chefcycle 

About 21c Bentonville:

Located on the northeast corner of the Bentonville town square and a short walk to Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, 21c Museum Hotel Bentonville is a 104-room boutique hotel, contemporary art museum, cultural center, and home to The Hive, a contemporary Southern restaurant showcasing the unique culinary identity of Northwest Arkansas. The property boasts over 12,000 square feet of exhibition space, where visitors and locals alike are invited to enjoy rotating, curated exhibitions free of charge, seven days a week.