When I first met Chef Bryce Fluellen, we were at a food sustainability roundtable, hosted by Erin Schrode and Evan Marks of The Ecology Center. Eventually, the conversation turned to food deserts — lower income neighborhoods where stores selling vegetables are far more rare than dialysis clinics. Having covered Bryce’s work before, I knew that he was perhaps the most suitable person at the table to take the lead. If someone deserved to be a know-it-all, it was him.
But Bryce didn’t do that. He sat back, he listened, he processed. Later that night, at dinner, he drew parallels between the viewpoints we’d heard and the conversations he has about similar issues in south Los Angeles. As Bryce spoke (and I wolfed down the best Mexican food in Orange County), I realized that I was listening to a man with vision, a man who would most certainly be on the forefront of food equality and sustainability conversations for years to come.
To sit with Chef Bryce now, is to see a passionate man whose dreams seem to all be congealing at once. He launched a book three months ago. Last week, he held a pop up dinner with the Detroit Food Policy Council; this week, he was filming on The Bailey Rae Show. His innovative series Kids at the Table has been hosted by the likes of CBS and Nike and somehow, amidst all this, he still finds time to teach teens every week. It’s a hustle, and an important one.
As Bryce raced from Detroit to Hollywood, he made time to chat with us about how to kickstart change within our food systems at the community level and the importance of empowering kids.