Lens on Leadership: With Jamie Bissonnette

March 28, 2022 Updated: January 23, 2024

From our Board of Directors to our Culinary Panel, Friends Advisory Board, and Community Advisory Boards (CABs), we’re fortunate to count so many strong leaders among our lot! Every month, we introduce you to one of them.

This month, it’s Jamie Bissonnette: Member of Lovin’ Spoonfuls’ Culinary Panel and Owner/Chef of Toro, Coppa, and Little Donkey.

How did you first get introduced to Lovin’ Spoonfuls?

Christopher Myers and Joanne Chang asked me to be a part of an event at their restaurant. It was the first Lovin’ Spoonfuls’ event. Once I met Ashley, I was hooked. Her passion, vision, and drive was and continues to be inspiring.

What is it about Lovin’ Spoonfuls and/or the issue of wasted food that speaks to you personally or professionally?

One of my first jobs was at a local grocery store. It was mind-blowing to me when I realized how food was treated. I would take it before it hit the dumpster to share with friends that didn’t have the money to buy fresh foods. As a young cook, I was so surprised by waste in the kitchen. Meeting Ashley reopened my eyes to the possibility of feeding hungry people with food that already exists. The food is out there and I am proud to support an organization that focuses on getting it to where it can have a meaningful impact.

How have you involved your restaurants in our work?

We have participated through events, fundraising through menu items, social media content.  We’re happy to do pretty much anything the Lovin’ team asks, and sometimes we do things on our own!

What are a couple of tips you have for fellow chefs (both professional and at-home) committed to wasting less food?

It’s not just about the whole animal, root to shoot, etc. It is important to understand where you are sourcing your food and know what happens to it before it gets to a restaurant. Save it. Put it someplace that it cannot be ignored. FEED PEOPLE with it before throwing it out.

What are a few ways people can support restaurants/restaurant workers in the current state of the pandemic?

If you are going in to eat: Tip well. Be patient. Be kind. If you are asked to wear a mask, you should. Being difficult about policies just makes a tenuous experience for everyone. Restaurants are not making the city rules, we are just enforcing.

Tell us about Coppa, Toro, and Little Donkey! What’s going on?

We are excited to start talking about Faccia Brutta u0026 Bar Pallino. Opening in the late spring on Newbury Street. But that is all I can say!

Header photo: Jamie Bissonnette cooking at Lovin’ Spoonfuls’ Ultimate Tailgate in 2019.

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