Among food activists, there are some of the most polyvalent figures of the food industry. Their backgrounds go from chefs, farmers, educators, artists, and entrepreneurs. Here are the profiles of food activists selected by Choco to inspire chefs around the world during 2020.
Chef, artist, and writer Amanny Ahmad is a NYC-based food activist, plant enthusiast, and passionate cook. Born in Utah to Palestinian immigrants, Ahmad’s work focuses on indigenous culinary traditions with wild foods and on foraging as a method of survival. Ahmad’s artworks also contributed to the study of Palestinian food culture and were included in the Palestinian Heirloom Seed Library in Battir. Through her focus on food and conceptual art and love for nature, she created her language to communicate the possibility of more conscious and meaningful relationships with people and earth.
Pierre Thiam is a Senegalese NYC-based chef, restaurateur, social entrepreneur, and culinary ambassador of West African cuisine in fine dining restaurants worldwide. He is the executive chef at award-winning Nok by Alara in Lagos, Nigeria, signature chef of the five-star Pullman Hotel in Dakar, Senegal, as well as the executive chef and co-owner of Teranga in New York City. Founder of Yolélé Foods company and author of The Fonio Cookbook (2019), he is an advocate of smallholder farmers of traditional African crops and of cooking diversity.
Pashon Murray is an educator and environmental activist at Detroit Dirt. The company converts waste into high-quality compost for local urban gardeners and farmers and reduces carbon footprint. With her work around organic waste recovery and reuse, she promotes zero-waste models within the food industry.
Nikko Masumoto is a 4th generation farmer, artist, and cultural organizer at the Masumoto Family Farm in Fresno, California. She is the co-founder of the Yonsei Memory Project, an inter-generational space for Japanese American memory keeping. Her work also includes tours at her family peach-farm as an art experience. She also advocates gender and cultural diversity in the farming world.
Sana Javeri Kadri
Sana Javeri Kadri is a former food and culture photographer, now founder and CEO of Diaspora Co., a queer and women of color-led organic turmeric business. Born and raised in Mumbai, India, she is striving for positive change within the Indian farming and supply-chain system through new business models of “Made in India”. Her company produces delicious organic spices sustainably and by relying on regenerative agriculture practices.