Friends & Food International, Inc., A culinary & educational travel and food consulting company specializing in community nutrition programs, sustainable food policy, international conference services and professional culinary training programs. FFI, Inc. began its work with an emphasis on cultural heritage, sustainable practices, food diversity and understanding regional traditions. Mr. Haskell has taught Mediterranean and southern culinary history and cooking in Washington and Europe.
In addition, he is a consultant to professional dietetic associations, institutional & corporate food services and fine dining restaurants. Mr. Haskell is a Board Member of DC youth garden programs, has been a Coordinator for the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, and an active member of the international Slow Food movement, Interfaith Alliance & Society of Friends, Southern Food and Beverage Museum, Friends of the New Orleans Public Libraries and New Orleans Edible Schoolyard Project.
Mr. Haskell is a native of South Carolina and has a strong affection for low country & southern regional cooking and gardening in the United States, as well as the Mediterranean, where he spent many of his summers growing up. As a student in high school & college, he supported his travel and study abroad by working in restaurants in Europe, Asia, & South America, as well as kitchens in North America. After a career working in international development and politics, He returning to food, nutrition and cooking in Washington in 1997 with Friends & Food International with culinary travel programs and restaurant consulting. In 2007, Mark Haskell was made a Chevalier (knighted) to the Confrerie de Vin de Saint Vincent, Cotes du Rhone, France, an ancient brotherhood of winemakers established in 1600 for his work promoting organic and biodynamic food in the Cotes du Rhone.
Following Mr. Haskell’s work building and designing culinary gardens with the Smithsonian Folklife Festival in 2005 & 2007, he was awarded private and foundation grants to build numerous (currently 12) school culinary gardens and edible landscapes in the DC metropolitan area. All of these gardens, aside from providing fresh, nutritious, organic fruit and vegetables, are designed and intended to be multi-cultural, multi-generational gathering places and open air class rooms where numerous subjects can be taught as well as promoting healthy life styles.