Chefs on a Mission
6 chefs transforming the way we eatuser rating
While some celebrity chefs love being bad, a growing majority want to do good. No longer content drawing raves from foodies and critics, a handful of culinary stars have set out to change the way we eat and the way we think about food. We reached out to food stars who are going beyond creating sensational fare—they are working to transform the way the world eats.
Front and center is outspoken British chef Jamie Oliver, who is using his fame, charm and the power of television to inspire Middle America to swap mozzarella sticks for carrot sticks. “Kids have a civic right to be fed healthy food,” says Oliver, who has four children of his own.
José Andrés is another culinary darling who does more than his fair share. When the Spanish chef isn’t juggling his seven stateside restaurants in Washington, D.C., Beverly Hills and Las Vegas, he’s flying to Haiti to teach earthquake victims how to cook with solar power or teaching adults who are overcoming addiction, incarceration or homelessness how to prepare a healthful meal from scratch as part of community kitchen DC Central Kitchen’s culinary job training program. During a “60 Minutes” interview last year, Andrés exhorted his peers to do more: "Chefs of America … we should be more outspoken about the way we are feeding America,” Andrés said. “We should be more committed to the 97 percent of Americans who don't come to our restaurants.”
Each of the following chefs is trying to do exactly that. Some, like Oliver and Dan Barber, are well known. Others, like Ray Garcia, are newer to the cause—and the limelight. But all have taken their beliefs far beyond the sanctum of their dining rooms. Read on to see what Oliver, Barber and Garcia as well as Michel Nischan, Bill Telepan and Bruce Sherman are doing to support their causes and beliefs—from nutrition education to affordability of good food. —Pascale Le Draoulec
Pascale Le Draoulec is a James Beard Award–winning author who has written about food and restaurants for more than 15 years.