Michel Nischan Named 2015 Humanitarian of the Year by James Beard Foundation

28 Jan
Michel Nischan in his element; photo from WholesomeWave.org

Michel Nischan in his element; photo from WholesomeWave.org

Chef Michel Nischan makes us happy and is someone that we look up to in so many ways. He worked with Paul Newman to create the legendary Dressing Room in Westport that was one of Connecticut’s first farm-to-table restaurants. His cooking and approach to food helped to show that local was not only better for the community, but could also taste better. Along with his love of all things local came a movement that would soon become the major focus of his life: sustainability.

Nischan would go on to become CEO of Wholesome Wave which is an organization that helps to not only bring awareness of sustainability here in America, but to also help to bring it into practice. Through his leadership and guidance, Wholesome Wave has helped make a tremendous impact in communities with economic disparity. One way that he and his organization made an impact is by supporting legislation that would allow people to use food stamps to purchase larger amounts of food at farmers’ markets. The Double Value Coupon Program is just one way that Wholesome Wave would help bring equality to the food market while helping the local community and farmers as was their Fruit & Vegetable Prescription Program.

Wholesome Wave LogoIn addition, we have written about Michel’s groundbreaking work with Whole Foods Markets across the country. By working side by side, Michel and Wholesome Wave were able to facilitate a brand new approach for Whole Foods Markets seafood departments. As a result of this collaboration, Whole Foods stopped selling seafood that was not sustainable and that had an adverse impact on the environment. And, in place of the fish they stopped selling, they began to feature healthier, easier to procure, and more sustainable seafood choices.

It’s for this work, and more that we couldn’t even possibly list here, that Michel Nischan has been named the 2015 Humanitarian of the Year by the James Beard Foundation. Michel will receive his award at The James Beard Foundation Awards Ceremony and Gala Reception at Lyric Opera in Chicago on May 4 along with many other chefs and people from the food industry including Richard Melma who is the 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award Winner. 

Make sure to congratulate Michel by tweeting him and/or Wholesome Wave or by liking and leaving comments on the Wholesome Wave Facebook page.

6 Responses to “Michel Nischan Named 2015 Humanitarian of the Year by James Beard Foundation”

  1. zog January 28, 2015 at 10:58 am #

    Michel’s work with the Wholesome Wave is great but didn’t he run Paul Newman’s Restaurant into the ground and his former restaurant in Miche Mache the same, hurting a lot of business .You should check your facts concerning Whole Foods ? Wholesome Wave and the staff deserve as much credit as anyone.


    • Dan and Kristien Del Ferraro January 28, 2015 at 11:04 am #

      We are definitely, 100% sure about Michel working with Whole Foods. It was a big deal years ago and changed the way that Whole Foods did business. That has been verified and can be found on the Whole Foods site.

      As for Dressing Room, he didn’t run it into the ground as far as we know. In fact, it was doing very well as he began to take more active roles in the community. He did close it, though, so he could focus on Wholesome Wave and his other endeavors.


      • zog January 28, 2015 at 11:37 am #

        I stand by what I said on the restaurants, WF . This is not meant to not praise Wholesome Wave and Staff it’s the facts.


        • Dan and Kristien Del Ferraro January 28, 2015 at 11:51 am #

          We stand by what we say, too. Do some searching and you’ll see their sustainable seafood practices. Greenpeace named them #1 last year in seafood sustainability practices, for example. They also work with The Safina Center in Stony Brook to keep practices goung.



  1. Full Details on Black Rock Farmers’ Market, Sprouting Up for Their Second Year | OmNomCT - June 17, 2015

    […] interactive side of BRFM begins on June 27 with one of the most inspiring chefs in our fine state: Michel Nischan. He is the former chef who started The Dressing Room with Paul Newman and he’s also the same […]


  2. CT Food News Vol. 30: WTF!, Meal Deals, Maple Syrup, Paired Dinners, Major Props for CT Chefs, Closings + More | OmNomCT - March 5, 2015

    […] Chef Michel Nischan was featured in Parade Magazine as a person who is helping to change the world . . . for the better. […]


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