Chef Nischan Feted By Table To Table At Annual Gala
Table to Table, New Jersey’s first and most successful food rescue organization honored legendary chef Michel Nischan at last month’s annual Gala.
Each year, Table to Table honors a prominent chef based on their culinary excellence as well as support of its mission. Michel Nischan is a four-time James Beard Award winning chef with over 40 years advocating for a more healthful, sustainable food system. Chef Nischan is an active thought leader encouraging everyone in America to exercise their right to feed themselves and their families well, regardless of race, ethnicity, income, or economic condition.
Nischan brought a unique perspetive to his comments upon receiving the award. Unlike most chef award winners, he has actually left the day to day of restaurant operations to dedicate his life to battling hunger. His Wholesome Wave is a 501(c)(3) public charity that creates concepts like doubling SNAP for fruits and vegetables and procedure prescriptions, then works to institutionalize them through policy change. Nischan and his team have also created Wholesome Crave a for-profit food company that sells plant-based food intro scaled food service operations at colleges, universities, and large-scale employers to provide tax-free gross revenue to support the work of Wholesome Wave.
His eye opening acceptance included: “I have yet to meet a low-income community member or family who doesn’t desire to eat healthier or provide healthier food for their families. They simply can’t afford it. Our consumer attitude surveys showed that low-income shoppers, urban and rural, valued the same attributes as higher income shoppers such as quality of produce; selection of produce; supporting local farmers and businesses. It’s sad to realize that the focus of our society as a country has determined income to be the differentiator amongst our neighbors, rather than the values we all hold and align on. Like taking care of each other.”
At the sold-out event, Nischan was feted by an all-star lineup of toques for the 2022 edition of it Chefs Gala, at Edgewood Country Club. Now in its 22nd year, the chefs will prepare a culinary feast where top chefs and restaurateurs from NYC and NJ prepare a five-course menu just for Table to Table. The menu also included curated wines paired with each delicious course. Among the highlights of the annual event is a one-of-a-kind LIVE auction that included in-hone dinners with a number of top chefs.
Once again, the Table to Table Chefs Gala lineup included several returnees that have given tirelessly of their time and talent:
Internationally acclaimed celebrity Chef David Burke is a trustee and supporter of Table to Table since its inception 20+ years ago and the 2021 Chefs Gala Honoree. TV personality and James Beard award-winning chef, Rocco DiSpirito, has dedicated his life to proving that healthy and delicious are not mutually exclusive. For nearly 3 decades, Peter X. Kelly has set the standard for dining in NY State, operating critically acclaimed restaurants in the Hudson Valley. Visionary chef John Mooney promotes sustainability in the kitchens and on the aeroponic rooftop gardens of Bell, Book & Candle in NYC and Bidwell in Washington, DC. After receiving a Michelin star and 3-stars in the New York Times for his creative, flavorful cooking at Oceana in NYC, Chef Ben Pollinger opened The Hill, closer to home in Closter, NJ. With credits as an author and frequent guest on national TV shows, Chef Pollinger refined his craft cooking in legendary NYC restaurants La Côte Basque, Les Célébrités, Lespinasse, and worked in kitchen management at Tabla and Union Square Café. Acclaimed chef and bestselling author Tom Valenti is a former Table to Table Chefs Gala honoree and currently the Executive Chef of Jockey Hollow Bar & Kitchen.
Table to Table, NJ’s first and most successful food rescue organization, collects fresh and perishable food which would otherwise be wasted and delivers it to organizations that serve people experiencing hunger in Bergen, Hudson, Essex, and Passaic counties in Northeastern NJ. We bring rescued fresh, nutritious food to 200+ partner organizations including, social service organizations, pantries, shelters and fresh produce markets and centralized distribution hubs. Food is provided free of charge. Through this, we touch a diversity of those in need, including families, children, veterans, and older adults, making good nutrition accessible while serving as a stimulus for other longer-term benefits. Table to Table raises all its own funds annually, and last year delivered enough food for 38 million meals. Learn more at their website.
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