Sign up for these guest office hours to chat with professional chef, sustainability consultant, educator, and activist Tagan Engel about food entrepreneurship and food justice.
Tagan Engel has dedicated her career to promoting equitable economic and community development. With 20+ years in the food industry as a professional chef, sustainability consultant, educator, and activist, Tagan integrates her knowledge of food systems, racial justice and environmental sustainability to support the development of vibrant communities, businesses, and transformational justice work. Tagan began cooking professionally in New York City in 1995, and worked in numerous restaurants, bakeries and catering companies in NYC and Boston, eventually running her own catering business in both cities.
In 2006 Tagan returned to New Haven, her hometown, and branched out into sustainable food systems work with local businesses such as Blue State Coffee, Yale Dining Services, The Yale Sustainable Food Program, New Haven Public Schools, and local food start-ups through the nonprofit organization CitySeed.Through her work with CitySeed as well as New Haven Food Policy Council she collaborated with dozens of community groups to build coalitions for food justice work including: anti-hunger initiatives, food policy, community-rooted cooking education, food access in low-income communities, urban agriculture, and small business development. Tagan spearheaded the development and passage of the first New Haven Food Access Plan adopted by the city in 2013. She also built the community kitchen & incubator at CitySeed and published the bilingual New Haven Cooks, Community Cookbook and wrote the Sustainable Food Purchasing Guide for Yale.
Currently Tagan produces and hosts the radio show and podcast The Table Underground, where she covers stories on food and social justice. She is an Inspiring Equity Fellow with the William Caspar Graustein Memorial Fund, a Mentor in Residence with The Tsai CITY Center for Innovative Thinking at Yale, and serves on the Board of Directors of Soul Fire Farm.