Michel Nischan

Wholesome Wave

Michel Nischan

Chef, Author and Food Equity Advocate

Founder & CEO, Wholesome Wave

Michel Nischan is a three-time James Beard Foundation award winning chef with over 30 years of leadership experience advocating for a more healthful, sustainable food system. He is Founder 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, he serves on the board of the Amazon Conservation Team, and The National Young Farmers Coalition. Just this spring, Nischan was named James Beard Foundation’s 2015 Humanitarian of The Year.

To learn more about Chef Nischan, follow him on Facebook and/or visit: http://www.chefnischan.com

To learn more about Wholesome Wave visit: https://www.wholesomewave.org

List of Awards

2015    James Beard Foundation, Humanitarian of the Year

2015    Children of Bellevue, Honoree

2013    Food Inc. Awards, Pioneer Award

2013    Ira V. Hisckock Award for Public Health Service

2013    American Heart Association, Change the Future Award

2012    Monterey Bay Aquarium, Sustainable Chef of the Year

2012    Utne Reader Visionary Award

2012    California Small Farm Coalition Award for Excellence

2011    International Association of Culinary Professionals, Humanitarian of the Year

2010    Hummingbird Environmental Citizen Award

2010    Chefs Collaborative, Pioneers Table Award

2010    Diabetes Research Institute, Dare to Dream Award

2010    Huffington Post ,Top 100 Game Changer’s Award

2010    Lifetime Ashoka Fellowship Award

2008    Marine Stewardship Council, Sustainable Seafood Ambassador Award

2008    James Beard Foundation, Best Television Segment for PBS “Victory Garden”

2007    Food Arts Magazine, Silver Spoon Award

2007    American Heart Association, Chef with Heart Award

2007    Condé Nast Traveler, Top 95 Restaurants in the World: Dressing Room Restaurant in Westport, CT and Pure Restaurant in Mumbai, India

2007    Esquire Asia, Top 10 New Restaurants in the World: Pure Restaurant, Mumbai India

2004    James Beard Foundation, Best Health Focused Cookbook

2004    Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine – Best Airline Food, Song Airways Food for Sale Program

1988    Marriott Hotels Corporation Chef of the Year



Learn More About Michel Nischan

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