Michel Nischan

Wholesome Wave

Michel Nischan is a three-time James Beard Foundation award winning celebrity chef with over 30 years of leadership experience advocating for a more healthful, sustainable food system. He is Founder, President and CEO of Wholesome Wave, Co-Founder of the Chefs Action Network, as well as Founder and Partner with the late actor Paul Newman of the former Dressing Room Restaurant. He and his Wholesome Wave team were successful at influencing legislative language for the recently passed Federal Farm Bill, supporting affordable access to healthy, locally grown fruits and vegetables for low income consumers. He's also the author of three cookbooks and a variety of articles focused on sustainable food systems and social equity through food. A lifetime Ashoka fellow, Nischan serves on the board of the Amazon Conservation Team, and The National Young Farmers Coalition.

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What is your earliest memory involving food or wine?
Trying to hold my thumb and pinky together showing my mom that I was three years old, as I stood on a step stool in her kitchen, helping her can tomatoes.

If you've participated in the Festival before, what is your favorite SOBEWFF memory to date?
The burger bash for sure. I think it was Rachel Ray at the time and I loved the wild diversity that came out of that challenge!

If you could cook with anyone in the world, who would it be?
Jacques Pepin and Jose Andres, the two greatest lovers of food I know.

I never leave home without my:
My razor sharp Misono chef knife