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LAWN BASH 2023: America’s Food Ecosystem

Enjoy this special discussion, recorded live during Lawn Bash 2023, featuring Barclay Dodge, Chef and Owner of Bosq, and Eden Vardy, Founder and Executive Director of The Farm Collaborative, who joined Laura Gabbert, the producer and director of “Food and Country,” for a robust conversation about our food ecosystem, moderated by 1A host Jenn White.

The conversation, hosted in collaboration with Aspen Film, explored some of the big themes of "Food and Country," including how to bring the next generation into farming, prioritizing local and seasonal access to food, and what we can do to address America’s policy of producing cheap food which has hobbled small independent farmers, ranchers, and chefs.


Barclay Dodge | Chef/Owner, Bosq – James Beard nominated Chef Dodge draws from the best of his local farms to bright, bold flavors of global street markets. His plates are accessible and consistently thoughtful. Chef Barclay Dodge’s love of cuisine began in his grandmother’s kitchen and it grew through his vocational experience as a teenager in Aspen restaurants. After being introduced to the cutting edge experimentation in gastronomy while at El Bulli, under Ferran Adria and Albert Adria, Chef Dodge went to open and operate two restaurants of his own, including Bosq. He is inspired by the roots of a place. From his own roots in the Aspen valley to his extensive traveling and culinary investigations into local food cultures.

Eden Vardy | Founder/Executive Director, The Farm Collaborative – Born in the middle-east to a mixed north-AfricanAfghani-Iranian family and raised in the highlands of Colorado, Eden Vardy experienced first-hand the dramatic impacts of climate change his whole life, and is dedicated to solving them. With that goal, he founded The Farm Collaborative, a collaboration for regeneration, in 2008. This innovative NGO regenerates the local food system from all angles with programs ranging from youth education to farmer financing. In 2019 Colorado Governor Jared Polis appointed Vardy to the state’s Parks and Wildlife Commission to represent production agriculture. Vardy was appointed for a second term in July 2022, and was confirmed with 100% bipartisan support in congress. In 2021, Vardy was selected as the Eisenhower Agricultural Fellow and met with policy makers, farmers, and community leaders in France and Brazil to discuss best practices for enabling the next generation of agriculturalists to thrive.

Laura Gabbert | Director, “Food and Country” – Documentary director Laura Gabbert’s critically-acclaimed films deploy humor and emotion to tell penetrating, character-driven stories about American culture and society. Her newest documentary, “Food and Country” premiered at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival. Her previous film, “Ottolenghi and the Cakes of Versailles” (IFC/Hulu 2020), explores chef Yotam Ottolenghi’s collaboration with the Metropolitan Museum of Art. She also directed “City of Gold” (Sundance 2015), the feature documentary about Pulitzer Prize winning food writer Jonathan Gold, which was released theatrically by IFC Films in over 50 markets and named by Vogue Magazine among their “66 Best Documentaries of All Time.” Gabbert is a member of AMPAS.

Jenn White | Host, 1A – Jenn White is the host of 1A, a daily program from WAMU in Washington, D.C. A seasoned journalist and podcast host, she has worked in public radio since 1999. She came to 1A from WBEZ in Chicago, where she held several on-air positions, as host of the station's local two-hour midday show, Reset with Jenn White, and before that as host of The Morning Shift. She is also a familiar voice on several WBEZ podcasts, including Making Oprah, Making Obama and 16 Shots, which chronicled the fatal police shooting of Laquan McDonald and the trial of Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke. Before WBEZ, White was the local host of All Things Considered at Michigan Radio. White is also skilled as a public speaker and has moderated numerous on-air gubernatorial and mayoral debates. She is a native of Detroit and graduate of the University of Michigan.

Special thanks to Aspen Valley Land Trust for supporting this important discussion, and to all our Lawn Bash 2023 sponsors, including Alpine Bank, Colorado Site Services, FrankCrum, ACRA, Aspen Community Foundation, and Everybody Water.