Chef Doherty of NYC's BLACKBARN Launches New Sustainable Meals

Chef Doherty of NYC's BLACKBARN Launches New Sustainable Meals

New York native and chef-owner of BLACKBARN restaurant, John Doherty has had quite a busy year. He already has an impressive 30 year legacy at the Waldorf Astoria where he met and fed four standing Presidents of the United States, authored The Waldorf-Astoria Cookbook and received the prestigious James Beard Silver Spoon Award. But now, Chef Doherty is looking to feed the world, one child at a time. 

After officially opening his own restaurant, BLACKBARN, in September of 2015, with a menu that features modern twists on traditional fare, in late 2017 he expanded to Chelsea Market with partners Mark and Kristen Zeff, where his signature farm-to-table favorites are complemented by a homewares and accessories shop. In addition to this expansion, Chef Doherty created the Heavenly Harvest Foundation to make healthy, shelf stable meals for families in need. Coming from humble beginnings himself, he aimed to become more than a chef and restaurateur.

Chef John Doherty, has channeled his lifetime of cooking experience into the creation of delicious, shelf stable meals for Heavenly Harvest Foundation, which has officially begun distribution in partnership with Feed the Children. Already a total of 50,000 meals, beginning with a carefully designed red beans and rice and three bean chili recipe, have been delivered to families in New York City, Boston and Chicago.

We asked Chef Doherty about his new venture and what motivates him and this foundation. “I am passionate about feeding those in need.”  says Chef Doherty. “After nearly 30 years of cooking for over a million people a year in the Waldorf Astoria kitchen and at BLACKBARN over the past four years, I have learned what people like to eat. This experience made it easy for me to develop meals that families will feel proud to put on their table.”

Courtesy Heavenly Harvest/Chef John Doherty


Years of research led Chef Doherty to develop high quality dishes that can be safely stored at room temperature. These shelf stable meals are able to be kept in home kitchens and eaten for up to 18 months—made with high quality and locally sourced ingredients such as meat, vegetables, pasta or rice, herbs and spices without any preservatives or artificial ingredients. Utilizing the latest food technology that applies heat rather than preservatives in order to keep meals fresh, the packages contain at least 20 grams of protein each, in addition to high levels of iron, calcium, and vital nutrients such as Vitamins A and C. Chef Doherty specially crafted recipes to include wholesome ingredients while remaining flavorful and nutritious.

Through its partnership with Feed the Children, Heavenly Harvest began trial distribution in Boston and Chicago in Summer 2019. Mr. Sid, the company that received the Heavenly Harvest Community Service Award, donated 5,000 meals through the YMCA. Heavenly Harvest has also supplied meals at Chef Doherty’s own neighborhood in Chelsea in addition to Project Hope in Jamaica, Queens. Additional meals are planned for distribution in New York City later this year. 

Food insecurity exists in every single county in America, and over 50 million Americans struggle to put food on the table every single day. Through Feed the Children, the Heavenly Harvest meals can aid those in need at no cost to them. “A staggering 1 in 6 Americans face hunger each day.” says Joe Allegro of Feed the Children.

In honor of Hunger Action month, each person who dines at the BLACKBARN Chef's Table on Saturday nights between September 29 and November 24 (Thanksgiving weekend), Chef Doherty will supply Heavenly Harvest meals to feed a child for a week.

Courtesy Heavenly Harvest/Chef John Doherty

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