For Immediate Release: January 22, 2013


Hilary Baum –, 718.884.5716,

Seth Gladstone –, 718.943.8063


More Than 150 Prominent NY Chefs Send Letter to Gov. Cuomo Urging a Ban on Fracking in New York State

Mario Batali Among Signers as New Report Outlines Detrimental Effect Fracking Will Have on State’s Agriculture and Food Industries

New York, NY – More than 150 prominent New York chefs and food professionals, members of Chefs for the Marcellus, sent a letter to Governor Cuomo today urging him to ban hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, the highly controversial natural gas drilling method currently being considered by Cuomo for implementation in the state. The letter, from prominent chefs including Mario Batali (Babbo), Michael Anthony (Gramercy Tavern), Bill Telepan (Telepan) and Mary Cleaver (Cleaver & Co.), comes as a new report from the consumer group Food & Water Watch confirms the many risks fracking poses to New York’s food, agriculture and farming.

In the letter the chefs state that “fracking leaks and spills have stunted and killed crops and livestock and sickened humans… This is of great concern to our community because agriculture, food and beverage production, restaurants, and tourism are vital, growing, interdependent economic engines that rely on our famously pristine water and farmland for their success.”

The full letter and list of signers can be viewed here.

“Those of us who treasure and increasingly rely on locally sourced food and beverages are deeply concerned that fracking will destroy our state’s environment,” said Heather Carlucci, a chef and co-founder of Chefs for the Marcellus. “It could destroy upstate farms and our restaurant community, which is celebrated around the world and contributes a huge amount to the state economy.”

Fracking is a dangerous drilling method that involves pumping millions of gallons of water, sand and toxic chemicals deep unground at extreme pressures to crack shale rock and release deposits of natural gas for collection at the surface. In states where it is allowed, the practice has been tied to birth defects in livestock, contamination of drinking water supplies, air pollution and climate change.

“This goes beyond affecting chefs, it could have a huge impact on those who live in upstate New York. The drinking water, and the land, and the food upstate will be affected – and then all of us will be affected,” said New York City chef and restaurant owner Bill Telepan.

“Fracking can potentially devastate our food shed and water supply, and irrevocably harm our farmland and the hard working people who grow and raise our food.  As a food professional who cares deeply about the safety of our food and the health of those who eat and produce it, I urge our elected officials to ban fracking in New York State,” said New York chef and restaurant owner Mary Cleaver.

 About Chefs for the Marcellus

Chefs for the Marcellus is a group of chefs, restaurateurs, farmers, brewers, vintners, and other New York food professionals who have come together to protect our regional foodshed from the dangers of hydraulic fracturing for natural gas (fracking). It is a member of New Yorkers Against Fracking, a coalition of almost 200 organizations opposed to fracking in New York State. It is also a member of the New York State Sustainable Business Council.