Bay Area chef wins international award for climate change solutions in the kitchen

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- ABC7 News is committed to Building a better Bay Area and one of the issues we are focusing on is the environment.

On Tuesday, a San Francisco chef was awarded an international prize, that some equate to the Nobel Prize for food, for combating climate change from the kitchen.

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"Chefs have the potential to create significant cultural change," said Mission Chinese Food co-founder Anthony Myint.

The impact of Mission Chinese Food now extends beyond San Francisco's dinner crowd-- the bold menu, a catalyst for global climate solutions.

Myint was just awarded the Basque Culinary World Prize and 100,000 euros for his efforts to fight climate change through food.

"Farming can reverse climate change," explained Myint. "Applying compost instead of using fertilizer, cover cropping, rotating crops, plowing less"

To help farmers pay for those practices, Anthony has partnered with the state of California to create an optional surcharge on restaurant bills-- which Mission Chinese implemented last year.

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"And so now it's just a matter of how quickly we can change the food system," said Myint.

Through all of the attention that Myint's new award brings, he hopes that Mission Chinese Food's carbon-neutral ways will inspire other chefs and restaurants around the world.

"It's time now, not just to say I'm going to do better, but to be radical and to wake up," said Dominique Crenn, the famed three Michelin star San Francisco restaurateur.

Crenn was one of the judges, who voted to award Anthony his prize. She spoke Tuesday at the Sustainable Thinking Symposium at the Salesforce Tower-- where she's opening a zero-waste café this year.

"You come there, you bring your own cup or you drink your coffee there," said Crenn, who added, "It's about changing people's behavior, one at a time."

The Basque Culinary Center is a non-profit, based in Spain.

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This is the fourth time they've awarded their world prize.

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