PORTLAND — Chef Sam Hayward of Fore Street won a national award in New Orleans Monday night recognizing his commitment to promoting local, sustainable foods in the culinary world.

Hayward received the “Sustainer” award from the Chefs Collaborative, a nonprofit network of chefs, farmers, fishermen, educators and food lovers, at the group’s annual national summit.

The Sustainer award recognizes a chef who has been a mentor to others, and who “is a model to the culinary community through his/her purchases of seasonal, sustainable ingredients and the transformation of these ingredients into delicious food.”

Hayward is one of Maine’s best-known chefs, and his restaurant was one of the first in the state to start sourcing as many ingredients as possible locally. In 2004, he was named the best chef in the Northeast by the James Beard Foundation.

The judges for the Sustainer award include, among others, Rick Bayless, chef/owner of Frontera in Chicago; Rebecca Goldburg, director of marine science at the Pew Charitable Trust’s Environment Group; Fred Kirschenmann of the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture in Ames, Iowa; Michael Leviton, chef/owner of Lumiere; and Dan McGovern, publisher of Sustainable Food News here in Portland.