Michel Nischan

JBF Award Winner

As the son of displaced farmers, Michel Nischan, CEO, Founder and President of Wholesome Wave, grew up with a great appreciation for local agriculture and those who work the land. He translated these childhood values into a career as a James Beard Award-winning chef, author and restaurateur, becoming a catalyst for change in the sustainable food movement. A lifetime Ashoka Fellow, Michel serves on the Board of Trustees for the James Beard Foundation, and The Rodale Institute.

If you weren't a chef, what would you be?
A farmers who cooks really well.

What was your first job in the culinary world?
A breakfast cook at Center's Truck stop on the Illinois-Wisconsin border.

What is your dream destination for culinary travel?
The American South as it once was. My dream would be that slavery never existed, and those who brought Caribbean and African influence to the food culture of an evolving nation were honored as chefs are today. Imagine the dishes if they weren't born of such struggle. Would they be different, would they be more inspired or less? Wouldn't it be great to take the trip and find out?


Send an email to the James Beard Foundation to update your profile.