About our Guest Speaker, Greg Kats:
Greg served as Managing Director of Good Energies, the first multi-billion dollar clean energy investment fund. During this time he helped establish global standards for green buildings, and critical standards for the energy efficiency industry, for which he received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Alliance to Save Energy. Greg served for five years as Director of Financing for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy for the US Department of Energy, has been a member of the board of directors of a many clean technology firms and is author of Greening our Built World. He is a founder of both the American Council on Renewable Energy and the country’s first green bank.
About our Guest Chef, Rick Cook:
Northern Virginia native Rick Cook is a chef dedicated to developing personal relationships with each producer of the ingredients he uses. From whey fed pigs to strawberries bred for rich flavor, Rick’s menus demonstrate this connection to the agricultural community of the greater DMV region. After years of traveling and learning from world-class mentors, Rick demonstrates the importance of preparing dishes that creatively showcase the ingredients in a thoughtful, fresh light.
At the age of 21, Rick walked into Gottlieb’s, Savannah’s best restaurant at the time, to ask for a job as a line cook. Over the next year, he developed a strong technical foundation and found the spark to his culinary obsession. Rick returned to Washington DC in 2006 as sous chef for Black Salt. His creativity allowed to flourish; Rick became Executive Chef 3 years later and began mentoring his own team of talented young chefs.
Interested in adding to his experiences, Rick began a journey that included a three-month food-inspired tour through Spain, Italy, and Norway. Intrigued by the relationship between food, wine, and farming, Rick sought out opportunities to work several vintages of wine harvest in Oregon with EIEIO and Big Table Farm. Throughout his career in DC, he has worked alongside some of the city’s greatest Chefs, including Frank Ruta, Eric Ziebold and Peter Pastan.
Currently Rick and his wife Tyes are developing their own brick and mortar restaurant while Rick spends his time perfecting sourdough bread baking. Having recently visited California to help with the wine harvest at Frenchtown Farms, Rick continues to fill his career with hands-on learning that inspire brilliantly executed dishes.