Chef Barton Seaver ’01, A Champion for Sustainability


Barton Seaver, who graduated from the CIA in 2001, returned to his alma mater to speak with students about his mission to restore our relationship with the ocean, the land, and with each other—through dinner.
Barton Seaver, who graduated from the CIA in 2001, returned to his alma mater to speak with students about his mission to restore our relationship with the ocean, the land, and with each other—through dinner.

CIA Alumni Bio

Barton Seaver, who graduated from the CIA in 2001, returned to his alma mater to speak with students about his mission to restore our relationship with the ocean, the land, and with each other—through dinner. He believes food is a crucial way for us to connect with the ecosystems, people, and cultures of our world.

In the Kitchen

Barton began his career as an executive chef in Washington DC. He opened seven restaurants awarded both for their cuisine and as environmentally-conscious businesses. Highlights of his culinary career include three Rising Culinary Star awards, twice earning Best New Restaurant awards, and being honored in 2009 by Esquire magazine as Chef of the Year. His restaurant, Hook, was named by Bon Appétit magazine as one of the top ten eco-friendly restaurants in America, serving nearly 100 unique species of seafood in it’s first year. Barton was also the host of both the National Geographic web series Cook-Wise and the three-part TV series In Search of Food.

Public Service and Policy

In 2012, Barton was named by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to the United States Culinary Ambassador Corp. He uses this designation to curate international conversations on sustainability and the role of food in resource management and public health. He is the Director of the Sustainable Seafood and Health Initiative at the Center for Health and the Global Environment at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. In this role, Barton spearheads initiatives to inform consumers and institutions about how our choices for diet and menus can promote healthier people, more secure food supplies, and thriving communities. He also served as a Senior Advisor in Sustainable Seafood Innovations at the University of New England. Barton is the founder of Coastal Culinary Academy, a multi-platform initiative that seeks to increase seafood consumption through seafood-specific culinary education for all levels of cooks. 

Cookbooks

Barton is the author of eight cookbooks: The Joy of Seafood, American Seafood: Heritage, Culture & Cookery from Sea to Shining Sea, Two if by Sea, For Cod and Country, Where There’s Smoke: Simple, Sustainable, Delicious Grilling, Superfood Seagreens: A Guide to Cooking with Power-Packed Seaweed, National Geographic Food for Health: Choose and Use the Very Best Foods for Your Family and Our Planet, and National Geographic Kids Cookbook: A Year-Round Fun Food Adventure. His articles have appeared in The New York Times, Cooking Light, Coastal Living, The Boston Globe, The Oprah Magazine, and The Washington Post.

Barton Seaver majored in culinary arts at The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY. He is an author, speaker, advocate for policy, and a chef.