Meet Tim Ma, Executive Chef at American Son at Eaton DC.
A former engineer Chef who’s curbing food waste while advocating for sustainable sourcing and optimizing composting practices.
Here is the portrait of Tim Ma, who in the course of his life, made risky decisions, such as leaving behind a brilliant career in engineering to pursue his dream of opening a restaurant. Ma completed training at The International Culinary Center (French Culinary Institute at the time) in New York. He then worked in Michelin starred restaurants and finally opened several restaurants with his wife in Washington DC. A sustainability advocate, he most recently partnered with the purpose-driven company Eaton hotel, to bring mindful eating to the nation’s capital. Today, although he has no regrets about having taken the plunge more than a decade ago, he admits that it is a difficult job in a sometimes-ungrateful industry. An industry that is terribly suffering at the moment.
The particularity of Tim, but also his strength, is to combine his skills in both food and engineering to tackle the subject of food waste in almost a scientific approach by closely monitoring and tracking his purchasing and composting practices. Even though his first motivations were essentially about the bottom line, today he has made the food waste movement his fight and culinary philosophy. A vocal advocate for sustainability, Ma is involved in several campaigns and efforts to reduce food waste such as the BlueCart’s Zero Waste Kitchen initiative to share Chef’s best sustainability practices and food recovery strategies.
His creativity has also increased tenfold by keeping kitchen scraps out of the waste stream, especially when it comes to looking for ways to reuse things that might otherwise end up in the garbage.
A father of three children and particularly sensitive to the cause of food and nutrition education, Tim became involved in the Real Food for kids Culinary Challenge, a competition to craft healthy delicious menus for school cafeterias, of which he is a member of the jury. The mission is to increase the access to good food at schools, promote the health and wellbeing of children across the region, and to fuel learning as well as combating childhood obesity.
According to Tim Ma, the future of Gastronomy is about changing food habits, such as shopping more frequently, limiting portion sizes, and looking to mindfully source ingredients. A sustainability advocate, a strong believer in waste reduction and composting practices, and also a fighter for the increase in access to healthy foods and nutrition education in schools, Tim is unquestionably a Chef with impact.
We are happy to welcome Tim Ma to Chefs for Impact!