Class of 2022

Charles Michel

Empowering Educators

36 / Bogotá, Colombia

The Colombian-French visionary connecting the world through food

“One of the biggest lies I believe we're told is that we live in a world of “not enough” – that we need to produce more food to feed 10 billion people by 2050,” says Charles Michel. “We produce enough food to feed every single human, yet the distribution is unequal and unfair.” This idea of the ‘myths’ of the current food system is what drives the Colombian educator to develop courses and content to better inform the world, and to use food as a catalyst for social and environmental change.

Starting out as a chef at top restaurants including Nadia Santini’s Dal Pescatore in northern Italy, Charles quickly concluded that fine dining wasn’t accessible to the masses. He began exploring food as a way of building community, working as a chef-in-residence at Oxford University under the mentorship of renowned professor Charles Spence. He later developed courses on conscious eating, food leadership and more, encouraging activism while inviting his students to challenge the issues of the hospitality industry, from gender inequality and violence to food waste and sustainability. Through his social media presence, Ted Talks and Patreon community, he practises his own form of activism, ultimately aiming to reconnect humans with themselves, each other and nature through food.

“In a world where division is rampant, I encourage people to question everything and vote with their money in ways that induce feelings of empowerment, instead of guilt and shame.” – Charles Michel

Read more about 50 Next

View more in this category