Chef Elizabeth Falkner is a consulting chef, Chefs Cycle rider and No Kid Hungry champion living in Los Angeles. Falkner has been a committed supporter of our work through various fundraising events, but most notably as the leader of Team Themyscira, a Chefs Cycle team dedicated to getting more women cycling.
In 2019, Falkner joined more than 300 chefs and culinary professionals for her first 300-mile ride with Chefs Cycle. And before the pandemic in 2020, she launched Team Themyscira, which despite the pandemic, raised more than $15,000 for No Kid Hungry. We’re proud to feature her and share her story today.
You’ve managed to really merge your identities of culinary professional and activist. How have you balanced the work behind being a chef and an activist?
You know, I have always been an activist. I want to create more equity and balance for all creatures on the planet and for the planet itself. Food and cooking interact with these issues in so many ways, so I’ve always viewed my activism as part of my role as a chef.
You’ve supported our work in so many ways -- but most recently as a team leader for Chefs Cycle. Do you have a favorite story or experience working with us?
Chefs Cycle has been an incredible way to build community outside the kitchen. I am thrilled to have recruited even more of my cyclist friends for our 2022 team. Earlier this year, my fellow chefs Gabrielle Hamilton, Hillary Sterling and I cycled a bicoastal ride “together” on the same day. Even though we were on separate coasts, we checked in on each other halfway through and afterwards. The best part is that Gabrielle, who is new to riding, did it and is now training for Chefs Cycle 2022!
You are known to many people in the culinary industry as a trusted leader and mentor. What’s one piece of wisdom you can share with the next generation of chefs and activists?
I really hope to see more chefs participating in athletic events for their physical well-being. That's the best advice I have -- take care of yourself!
The culinary industry is changing so rapidly. How do you see the role of chefs evolving in the coming years?
I believe our collective voice is getting stronger. I think we will see more collaborations, more pop ups, residencies and new ways to connect people to nourishing food. And more chefs on the road -- both cooking and on bikes!
Today, 1 in 6 children in the US could be living with hunger. Chefs — like Elizabeth — continue to step up and find creative ways to ensure all kids have access to the meals they need to thrive. Stay tuned for more stories about champions supporting No Kid Hungry.