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Michel Nischan

Founder and CEO, Wholesome Wave


Michel Nischan is a three-time James Beard Award winning chef with over 30 years of 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. Along with his team at Wholesome Wave, Nischan has successfully influenced 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 as a director on the board of the Jacques Pepin Foundation; on the advisory board of Chef’s Collaborative, The Amazon Conservation Team, TerraVia, and The National Young Farmers Coalition. In Spring 2015, the James Beard Foundation honored Nischan with the Award for the 2015 Humanitarian of The Year.

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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