Bon Appétit foragers scout for local, regional products

Sept. 30—Bon Appétit Management Company has appointed 15 foragers to help source regional items and enhance relationships with local farmers.

The initiative is part of the company’s goal of partnering with 1,000 farm-to-fork vendors by next year. The forager is the first job of its kind for a national foodservice operation, according to a company press release. The company appointed 15 existing chefs and managers, who will focus on finding “hidden gems” from local farms. By establishing these forager positions in each region of operations, Bon Appétit said it is committing to finding small regional suppliers across its operation. The Bon Appétit foraging team will help connect real food producers to area chefs, bridging the gap between small farms and the foodservice industry.

“Sourcing the best local ingredients has always been part of my job as executive chef, and now as a forager I’m happy to focus more on this vital role,” John O’Neill, executive chef at Cisco in Boxboro, Mass., said in a press release. “Massachusetts is a colder climate but amazing regional delicacies can be found here if you know where to look. This year, I found more than 20 new suppliers, including an incredible local garlic producer. I’m excited to be able to use their products in our fall menus.