According to yesterday’s NPR’s “Morning Edition,” Michel Nischan is “usually found cooking in his restaurant in one of Connecticut’s toniest towns.”
That would be The Dressing Room, here in Westport.
But according to reporter Allison Aubrey, this week the world renowned chef was in Washington, DC. Nearly 1,000 “corporate movers and shakers” attended a summit aimed at shaping private sector solutions to America’s obesity epidemic.
Actually, Paul Newman’s erstwhile partner was not just sitting listening to lectures. He cooked up a storm.
A creative, healthful, and very, very flavorful storm.
Introducing Nischan, Aubrey said, “you don’t need fancy foraged mushrooms or Connecticut oysters to make a great first course.”
Nischan whipped up something that cost “pennies,” and included “anti-oxidants, fiber and all kind of wonderful things like that.”
He added an entree of heirloom grain risotto with autumn vegetables — a “seasonal feast on a reality-check budget.”
Nischan is “passionate” about seeing a sea change in the way Americans eat, the radio report said.
Aubrey went on to examine the small ways in which restaurant chains like Olive Garden, and retailers like Walmart, are leveraging size and scale to change eating habits (at no cost to their bottom lines).
The piece ended as it began: with a focus on Nischan.
He roasted chicken thighs for the 800 summit attendees, adding cloves and cumin to “drive down fat, and amp up flavor.”
The guests loved the seasonal ingredients, and exciting food combinations. They cleaned their plates.
At least one corporation was converted. Hyatt Hotels announced a plan to remake some menus — starting with its kids’ meals.
That’s one small step for Michel Nischan. And one giant step for the nation’s waistline.
(To hear the full report, click here.)