In 2014, Chuck Ortiz wanted to highlight the mental and physical stress many chefs and other industry folks experience due to long hours, intense conditions, and demanding customers. Initially he considered sharing his thoughts in an article in Acquired Taste magazine where he is the editor-in-chief, but Chuck decided to approach it from another angle. Chuck pitched Nike his idea to bring together a few chefs for the purpose of encouraging physical activity in a stress-free environment. Chuck considered organizing these activities around basketball games, then quickly switched to running because the sport was more easily accessible and didn’t require specific skills.
We’re giving all these chefs a space to run and it’s a huge ask for someone who’s never run before. It’s a huge ask for someone who isn’t in that lifestyle, so early on we realized we need to give them creativity or a space to have creativityChuck Ortiz
Today, Food Runners is so much more than a run crew. They’re a support system for chefs and other industry folks as well as a community to share ideas ranging from recipes to race fuelling. Their impact can be seen in the events they organize and the programs designed to give back to the community. Several years ago, the crew started Project Refuel to explore the connection between running and recovery and who better to experiment with all the possibilities than the Food Runners?!
To learn more about Food Runners, you can follow them on Instagram at: @thefoodrunners_