Mandy Oser: Food for Thought and Thought for Food

January 11, 2012 3:44 PM

Executive Director of City Harvest Jilly Stephens, center, visits Harlem School Students with Chef Bill Telepan of Telepan restaurant, left. PRNewsFoto/City Harvest

I’m a huge fan of City Harvest, New York’s oldest food rescue organization, and Executive Director Jilly Stephens is someone I greatly respect. I feel very lucky every day to work in the food and wine business and get to be surrounded by something I love. Yet the contrast of the abundance around me and the poverty just outside our doors is striking.

Under Jilly’s guidance, City Harvest works to address the underlying root causes of hunger and poor nutrition with innovative education programs in underserved neighborhoods. There’s also the Mobile Market program which distributes fresh produce for those in need. I find her leadership style inspirational — I think she calmly yet forcefully leads by example and continually seeks new ways to address the ongoing problem of hunger.

Mandy Oser is the owner of Ardesia in Hell’s Kitchen, a wine bar she opened in fall 2009 as a place for both those with a deeper knowledge of wine as well as novices. She is also the director of strategic partnerships for Le Bernardin.

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