Barton Seaver is on a mission to restore our relationship with the ocean, the land, and with each other—through dinner. He has translated his illustrious career as a chef into his leadership of the Sustainable Seafood and Health Initiative at the Center for Health and the Global Environment at the Harvard 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.
Through his collaborative work with industry leaders, institutions, policymakers, media, and conservationists, Barton has become one of the nation’s leading voices for sustainable food systems.
Barton’s vision for the Center’s Sustainable Seafood and Health Initiative reflects his experience as a successful chef serving fish that was completely sustainable, and completely delicious—he seeks to connect environmental resiliency to human health while ensuring that local food producers can make a living. He believes that bringing people together around a shared meal may be the best way to join people together in understanding the importance of protecting access to one our most basic needs: food.
Barton contributes frequently to TV and radio programs on sustainability, and writes regularly for National Geographic and The Huffington Post. He is the author of several books, including the critically acclaimed For Cod and Country (Sterling Epicure, 2011) and Where There’s Smoke (Sterling Epicure, 2013)—each serving as the benchmark volumes for making sustainable seafood accessible to the home cook.
A highly in-demand lecturer, Barton has delivered major addresses to a wide range of audiences, including the U.S. State Department, National Institutes of Health, National Academies of Science, the Smithsonian, the prestigious TED conference, and is a regular participant at the Aspen Institute.
His work on sustainable seafood lead to being named Chef of the Year by Esquire magazine in 2009 and has garnered accolades from the Seafood Choices Alliance, Blue Vision, and the Blue Ocean Institute.
In addition to his role at the Center, he is an Explorer with the National Geographic Society and is the first Sustainability Fellow in Residence at the New England Aquarium, where he helps relate the Aquarium’s conservation messages with the food we serve at our dinner tables. In 2012, Barton was named by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to the United States Culinary Ambassador Corp.
Photo by Rose Lincoln, Harvard Public Affairs and Communications Office