“Not simply an office. Not simply a branding agency,”

 

Antoinette Marie Johnson’s (AJ) words have served as an anthem of sorts since Cohere moved into its now new headquarters. The space is dynamic, with the branding agency space, a floral studio and now we are thrilled to officially introduce what we have been cooking up in the Food Lab, and how it fits into our work. Lead by our in house Chef & Advisor, Erik Oberholtzer (EO), see what we have cooking in the lab.

AJ:

What is the new #CohereFoodLab?

EO:

The Cohere Food Lab is where I am testing recipes for a project we will launch this spring featuring regenerative organic produce that is unique to Southeastern Pennsylvania along with some ingredients at the edge of the global food system inspired by my work with the Crop Trust and Food Forever. This will give us the opportunity to feature partners we love and our very own Maidencreek florals. We’re also working on Consumer Product Goods (CPGs) in the #CohereFoodLab such as repositioning Heirloma de Cana, Simply Good Jars, and receiving products to test such as Made In Stainless Steel Cookware.

Ingredients and dishes served at the #CohereFoodLab. Photos above by Alex Cahanap

Ingredients and dishes served at the #CohereFoodLab. Photos above by Alex Cahanap

AJ:

Could you speak to the importance of the Food Lab driving more sustainable practices

EO:

Many of the concepts that drive sustainable practices in the food and agriculture spaces – regenerative agriculture, biodiversity, food as medicine, and zero waste – are difficult to understand. The first step for us is to develop practices and language internally so that as we create content and action through Cohere’s channels, and do it truthfully. As a team, we are working on a list of ten commitments to help guide our sustainable practices. What I hope is that I can help influence what is already a really progressive, thoughtful, amazing culture to one that is world-class in a place of mindful Leadership.

One way we’re moving the needle on this mission is Lunch & Learns, a practice every Wednesday where we discuss complicated topics around sustainability over family-style meals with the team, clients, and partners. We invite people to join!

Cohere Food Lab | Photo by Alex Cahanap

Ingredients and dishes served at the #CohereFoodLab. Photos above by Alex Cahanap

AJ:

What are some partners Cohere is working with that are opening up these conversations through their work?

EO:
  • The Crop Trust and Food Forever 2020 whose mission is preserving global crop diversity.
  • The Rodale Institute, the leading authority on organic agriculture in the country, located right in Berks County, Pennsylvania.
  • Pocono Organics, the largest regenerative organic farm in the nation and a partner to The Rodale Institute.
  • And, Arts & Crafts Holdings for supporting our transition to the Spring Arts neighborhood.
AJ:

Lastly, what is a stand out ingredient that has made its way onto the Cohere plates this winter? Why? Where can people find it?

EO:

The hero of the winter for me has been the scarlet turnip. It is not as earthy as other turnips or rutabagas. It has a subtle rosy flesh with a vibrant pink outside. It kind of looks like a Chioggia beet. It’s both delicious shaved raw in a salad as we had in our family meal this week but also great roasted with a little bit of caramelization on the outside. It could be added to any dish as an accessory but it’s also good enough to stand alone. It’s from Lancaster Farm Fresh Co-op and I’ve seen it at Mom’s Market and some farmer’s markets but only a few people have been carrying it. It’s great.

Left, the scarlet turnip featured in a recent salad from the Food Lab. Ingredients and dishes served at the #CohereFoodLab. Photos above by Alex Cahanap

What's on the agenda for the Food Lab

February 22nd – 26th:

Chef Erik to attend the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, a redundant inventory of the world’s crop diversity.

February 28th:

Chef Erik to cook with his mom Sherry a sold-out dinner at COOK, Philadelphia’s Premier Demonstration Kitchen

March 4th: 

DIY all-natural skin scrub workshop with Randi Bellamy and Elle Organics

April 1st

See what’s cooking in the #CohereFoodLab with our first virtual Lunch & Learn. Register here

April 8th

Cook virtually with Chef Erik Oberholtzer at the #CohereFoodLab, with guest Chef Eli Kulp who just launched his CHEF Radio Podcast.

April 15th

Heather McMonnies of Food Hedge to discuss foraging, mushrooms, wild asparagus, and others