What Can Chicago Restaurants Agree On?

June 12, 2014

How often do Chicago’s competing restaurants, chefs and food suppliers agree on something? Not often, unless it involves ethanol mandates…

Last week, Smarter Fuel Future and the Illinois Restaurant Association hosted a media event at 437 Rush, in which local Chicago restaurants, chefs and suppliers discussed the challenges caused by the policy. Joe Roireau, Executive Chef of 437 Rush, DaveSamber, owner and chef of Polo Café and Catering and Ron Lenzi, owner of Erie Café, discussed how driving up the price of corn, the main feedstock for cattle and beef production, results in rising prices that impact the cost of food at restaurants.

Samber was particularly outspoken about the ways in which restaurants are paying the price for this failed experiment.  Addressing an audience of 40 local business leaders and media, Samber asked, “How do you pass these huge product increases on to your customers?” His answer: “You don’t.” Because if you did, customers would go away. Samber, along with the other speakers, stressed the importance of the EPA’s proposal to reduce the 2014 ethanol mandates and the need for government help in lowering the cost of food.

In the video below, see who joined our speakers in sharing their grievances with the RFS. Join them, and click here to share how #EthanolFailed you.