Mary Cleaver, one of the country’s foremost authorities on sustainable food and local sourcing, is the founder and owner of The Cleaver Co. and The Green Table in New York City. The Cleaver Co. is a full-service event planning and catering operation with a large roster of private, non-profit and corporate clients, and a full-time staff of 50. The Green Table is a farm-to- table restaurant in the Chelsea Market where guests enjoy delicious dishes that demonstrate a commitment to seasonal cuisine. Most recently, Mary opened two food and beverage kiosks at The Battery in partnership with The Battery Conservancy. Fondly known as Table Green and Table Green Café, they are bringing a local focus to concession-style food and drink.
As Mary’s businesses have grown, so has her reputation for providing sumptuous, seasonally-driven food, attentive service, excellent event planning – and for helping create a sustainable, humane and delicious food system. The Cleaver Co. and The Green Table are widely recognized for utilizing local farms and purveyors in order to obtain the best-quality product, and for supporting small to mid-size farms and family farmers.
Today, Mary works with dozens of purveyors, from Satur Farms on Long Island’s East End, to Flying Pigs Farm in upstate New York, to Consider Bardwell Farm in Vermont and Hermann J. Wiemer Vineyard in the Finger Lakes. On any given morning, you will find Mary at the Greenmarket, purchasing fruit, vegetables, flowers and much more from our local farmers. Taking the ultimate leap, Mary and her husband recently purchased their own farmland; 2016 is their third season raising poultry and growing NOFA certified produce and grains at Green Table Farms in Washington County, NY. In November 2011, Mary was named the first-ever “Snailblazer” by Slow Food NYC to honor her contributions creating a better, healthier food system for all. Her current board affiliations include Hawthorne Valley Farm, Slow Food NYC Advisory Council, the Glynwood Advisory Council, Chef’s Council for Emma’s Torch, High Line Corridor Pneumatic Waste-Management Initiative. She was a founder of the Farm to Chef network. Her professional affiliations include Women Chefs and Restaurateurs, Chefs Collaborative, Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York, Slow Food USA and Les Dames d’ Escoffier, among others. Mary is a sought-after speaker on the subject of local food and agriculture, as well as a mentor to restaurateurs and business owners seeking to source food locally and sustainably.
Before founding The Cleaver Co., she was a corporate chef at G.A.F. Corporation, the pastry chef at J.S. Vandam, a food stylist, and a cooking teacher at The New School. Mary co-authored The TriBeCa Cookbook, published by Ten Speed Press in 1995, and is a graduate of Bennington College. When not at the farm, she and her family lives in Brooklyn.