Cooking up A Storm: How Chefs Could Help Us Beat Climate Change

Agnieszka K. Wielgosz
4 min readApr 2, 2021
Photo credit: Matthew Kenney Cuisine

Global food production is about to reach its limits; rapidly growing populations and the catastrophic effects of climate change will put a huge strain on global supply chains and force us to completely rethink the way we eat.

Western nations in particular eat far too much animal protein, and they waste vast amounts of resources in the process. If we’re to have any hope of saving our broken planet and slowing our rates of chronic disease, we’re going to need to embrace plant-based diets — and fast…

Making Plants Center Stage

By now, the majority of the public are keenly aware of the climate change crisis, and the impact that a poor diet can have on their health. However, despite that knowledge, most people overwhelmingly make food choices based on convenience or taste.

And honestly, who can blame them?

Supermarkets are loaded with meat-based convenience foods, and many people lack the knowledge or skills to cook tasty plant-based dishes from scratch. The situation in restaurants isn’t a whole lot better either.

Creating a Restaurant Revolution

Whilst plant-based restaurants continue to explode in popularity in big cities, elsewhere the reality is very different: Typical menus are still predominantly meat-centric, and the token plant-based dishes on offer are often uninspiring.

What we need then, are more visionary plant-based chefs like Matthew Kenney.

Kenney, although trained in the classical French style, quickly realized that meat-laden dishes would have no place in a sustainable future:

I really had a vision that plant-based food, if done properly, could change the way we think about food… The food is so cleansing, full of oxygen, full of color and vibrant. It makes you feel incredible.— Matthew Kenney

However, the Matthew Kenney business model is very different to that of a typical restaurant: Kenney licenses his dishes and menus to hotel chains around the world. These partnerships enable his organization to gain a plant-based foothold around the globe, without the need for real-estate or infrastructure.

This business model allows Kenney to put delicious and inspiring plant-focused menus in front of more diners than would ever be possible using a brick-and-mortar style setup. In addition, the diners in hotels represent a captive audience, and Kenney’s plant-based dishes gain a great deal of social proof by being allied to prestigious hotel brands.

The Food Future Institute

Photo credit: Matthew Kenney Cuisine

Matthew Kenney’s mission isn’t limited to changing diners’ perceptions. The entrepreneur has also created an online cooking school, where chefs and home cooks can learn how to produce mouth-watering plant-based dishes from scratch:

It’s really our mission to change the supply chain, through the chefs that make the decisions about the products they’re buying, or what they’re serving or what goes on the menu.— Matthew Kenney

The implications are obvious:

Instead of using advertising or activism to persuade diners to eat plant-based meals, we should be equipping chefs and amateur cooks with the knowledge they need to produce world-class food that everyone loves to eat.

Photo credit: Matthew Kenney Cuisine

Agnieszka K. Wielgosz

ʙɪᴢ ᴍᴇɴᴛᴏʀ — ɪᴍᴘᴀᴄᴛ ᴀᴄᴛɪᴠᴀᴛᴏʀ — ᴀʀᴛɪѕᴛ ↡ ᴠɪѕᴜᴀʟ ʙʀᴀɴᴅ ѕᴛʀᴀᴛᴇɢɪᴇѕ ᶠᵒʳ ᴡᴇʟʟɴᴇѕѕ ᴘʀᴏfᴇѕѕɪᴏɴᴀʟѕ 丨ʀᴇɢᴇɴᴇʀᴀᴛɪᴠᴇ ʙʀᴀɴᴅѕ 丨ѕᴏᴜʟfᴜʟ ᴇɴᴛʀᴇᴘʀᴇɴᴇᴜʀѕ ↠

Agnes serves as a vocal sustainability/ regenerative wellness advocate. She is the woman behind CEI Collective, serving the creative needs of wellness professionals, regenerative brands & soulful entrepreneurs to grow influence and increase their impact.

Through documentaries, visual storytelling and media content creation she searches for those big ideas, and the individuals behind them, that create a lasting change — ideas that address a gap or an opportunity that changes the way things are done, the way society views regenerative wellbeing of people and the planet.

You might be curious what the CEI acronym stands for; it stands for CONNECT EDUCATE INSPIRE. These are her three driving pillars to achieve societal planetary wellbeing. Agnes is passionate about creating a ripple effect and is excited to bring her skills and enthusiasm to your world.

Connect with her on IG: @ceicollective FB: @ceicollective



Agnieszka K. Wielgosz

Let’s regenerate ecosystems and learn as humans to live within the boundaries of our planet. Artist — Mentor — Founder @ceicollective