Michel Nischan inducted into “Who’s Who” by the James Beard Foundation
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Michel Nischan inducted into “Who’s Who” by the James Beard Foundation

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Michel Nischan inducted into “Who’s Who” by the James Beard Foundation

March 15, 2017
     
Michel Nischan
Photo Credit: Tom Hopkins

We might pause from our fruits and vegetables long enough to bake a celebratory cake. That’s because our founder and CEO, Chef Michel Nischan, has just been named one of the James Beard Foundation’s Who’s Who of Food & Beverage in America inductees for 2017. The award recognizes Nischan for both his decades-long culinary career and his leadership role as national advocate for a healthier, more sustainable food system. 

The James Beard Foundation’s annual honors are considered the “Academy Awards of food,” and include categories ranging from the culinary arts to food journalism and food-systems advocacy. This will be the fourth time Nischan has been honored by the organization, who named him Humanitarian of the Year award in 2015

Nischan, whose parents were farmers, began his career at 19, cooking breakfast at a truck stop. He quickly realized that the ingredients coming in the back door fell far short of the farm-fresh harvests he’d grown up on, and began a life-long career championing the farm-to-table concept, decades before it had a name. More than 30 years later, he has helmed top kitchens, including Heartbeat at the W Hotel and actor Paul Newman’s Dressing Room Restaurant. And he’s led a parallel track as one of the nation’s leading advocates for changing the world through food: he’s founder and CEO of this organization and Co-Founder of the Chefs Action Network. In other words, he does it all. 

The Who’s Who award is a distinguished honor bestowed on the most accomplished food and beverage professionals in the country, representing “a diverse cross-section of the food and beverage industry,” according to James Beard Foundation. The award is peer-selected; prior Who’s Who winners vote on the new inductees. Nischan will receive the 2017 award alongside Suzanne Goin, Evan Kleiman, Roger Berkowitz, and Rajat Parr.

Please join us in congratulating Michel on this richly deserved honor.