Using food as a beacon for change

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

 
Olivia Chessé

Founder & President

Olivia Chessé

Passionate about gastronomy, Olivia has always been surrounded by leading Chefs and luxury food brands in France and Asia where she spent several years managing exceptional projects and prestigious events. She arrived in NYC in 2014 and launched Epicurean Nights, a multi-sensorial dining concept to explore of a new perception of taste by blurring the lines between the culinary and the immersive experience. In 2020, she founded Chefs for Impact during Covid-19 pandemic to inspire consciousness.

Victoria

Advisor

Victoria Blamey

Chilean native, Victoria has worked in Michelin starred kitchens all over the world, ranging from Europe to Australia and finally the U.S. The world has always been her playground and she has developed a culinary style that reflects her journey as a global citizen Chef. Victoria aims to reinvent the restaurant industry while committing to a more inclusive model.

Zaid Kurdieh

Advisor

Zaid Kurdieh

Zaid was born in LA but grew up in the Middle East. Passionate about agriculture, he always knew he wanted to become a farmer. Today, Zaid and his wife Haifa run Norwich meadows farm, an organic farm that doesn’t use chemical pesticides at all. The farm encompasses 250 acres and grows over 1,300 varieties of produce. Quickly spotted by the greatest chefs in New York City for the quality, diversity, and taste of its produce, Zaid's farm has been very popular with the City's finest restaurants such as Blue Hill or Eleven Madison.

pascaline-lepeltier

Advisor

Pascaline Lepeltier

Pascaline, who's originally from Loire Valley, is passionate about sustainable agriculture, hospitality, and organic, biodynamic. and natural wines. She is a Master Sommelier and Managing Partner at Racines NY. Amongst multiple prestigious awards, she won the titles of 'Meilleur Ouvrier de France' and 'Best Sommelier de France' in 2018.

Pauline Lévêque

Advisor

Pauline Lévêque

Pauline is a French illustrator, author and freelance journalist. She is at the board of Doctors of the world, an international health and human rights organization. She lives in Manhattan with her husband and their two children.

Deshi Singh

Treasurer

Deshi Singh

With an understanding of Ayurvedic food science, Deshi has long been passionate about mindful food education and sustainability. After a successful career in finance, she helped launch Indie Fresh, a healthy, chef-prepared food company based in NYC. Through philanthropy and impact investing, she supports various initiatives in education, sustainability, and advocacy for women and children. She's currently the President of the Singh Foundation and an Advisor for the Asia Foundation’s Lotus Circle.

Adriana Marianella

Secretary

Adriana Marianella

Adriana is VP of Brand Development & Experiential for Standard International. As the company’s resident intrapreneur, she has a history of developing and leading innovative internal businesses, producing notable revenue and expanding brand equity. Befitting her start as Chief of Staff to André Balazs, she has earned a reputation for creating playfully atmospheric hospitality experiences. A longstanding UNICEF NextGen board member, she most recently established UNICEF NextGen in Thailand.

Kristin Rapoport

Advisor

Kristin Rapoport

Kristin is the developer of Wildflower Farms, a sustainability-forward farm, restaurant, and hotel in the Hudson Valley. Previously, Kristin served as SVP at Fortress Investment Group where she ran the oil and gas investment team. Kristin also spent 8 years at Morgan Stanley in institutional securities. She graduated cum laude from Columbia University.  Kristin brings her calling to further purposeful hospitality to Chef's for Impact.

Philippe Cassous

Advisor

Philippe Cassous

Philippe is an investor and serial entrepreneur. Over the course of the past 30 years, he has built and managed multi-million dollar businesses, applying his strategy, operations and marketing expertise in industries as varied as wine and spirits, equipment rental, and technology. Passionate about art, literature and wine, Philippe brings his expertise to further the mission and goals of Chefs for Impact.

Philippe Audier

Advisor

Philippe Audier

After ten years at Unilever developing marketing in Food, Philippe decided to create a new kind of business. His company FRENCHEFS facilitates chefs’ collaboration. To create the best partnerships for events, private dinners, food festivals or brands, Philippe is actively seeking for the best talents, the most inspiring profiles and the new generation of chefs all around the world.

 

COLLABORATORS & VOLUNTEERS

Lizette Kodama

Social media consultant

Lizette Kodama

Lizette likes to help organizations find their voice. Her approach challenges leaders to be unafraid to experiment with how they define their brand. She empowers them to reflect on the disruptive business models and technologies reshaping every industry and, more importantly, their organization.

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Content marketing producer

Theodora Fontas

Hailing from a family of farmers, Theodora has long understood the intersections of food and planetary health. With a desire to educate others on the links food has to all areas of society, she founded the interview series “Getting To The Root” where she speaks to experts and change-makers at the forefront of food, agriculture, and sustainability. She has a degree in international relations and is pursuing a masters of sustainability in the fall with the hopes of bridging the cultural and environmental elements of food in ways that can inspire others to lead healthier and more sustainable lives. 

Reka Darby

Project Development

Reka Darby

Having been passionate about projects focusing on creating opportunities and equal access, Reka has spent much of her career working with a wide range of non-profits around the globe, most focusing on healthcare and education delivery within locally sustainable settings. She is excited and feels fortunate to have the chance to further the mission and goals of Chefs for Impact alongside such a uniquely diverse, and dynamic team.

Julie Kunen

Special contributor

Julie Kunen

Julie writes about food, culture, and the environment.  Her work is dedicated to increasing sustainability in food systems – and to eating deliciously. An anthropologist, she has worked in international development and biodiversity conservation for over 15 years.  Julie is an avid home cook and baker, frequenter of farmers markets, supporter of CSAs, and aficionado of agritourism establishments.  And nothing gives her more pleasure at the end of a long day than a craft cider or cocktail.

Miriam Tangara

Food Education program coordinator

Miriam Tangara

Passionate about education, Miriam has spent most her career working in schools. Deeply involved in the field of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI), she is a member of the delegation of the People of Color Conference (POCC) and an active participant in the Diversity Practitioner meeting group organized by the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS).

Chethra Heng

Web development

James Heng

Passionate about IT, James brings his skills set to support Chefs for Impact's mission and goals.

ElodieLevrel

Marketing Consultant

Elodie Levrel

Elodie is on a mission to protect the Earth and truly believes that fixing the food industry would have a major impact. She is a marketing professional in the tech industry and has decided to use her skills to support Chefs for Impact. 

She has always been passionate about gastronomy. She started her career working for a catering company and since then, she has developed a strong interest for eco-friendly practices that support a sustainable food system. She has volunteered in several non-profits related to environmental protection, and is now excited to combine her 2 passions as a volunteer for Chefs for Impact.  

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Sales development associate

Lola Loening

Excited by all things food and sustainability, Lola is interested in building community around regenerative agriculture and delicious meals. Lola graduated from college last May where she majored in Environmental Studies with a focus in Food Security. She has spent that past year working in restaurants and learning about New York’s non profit food systems. Now, she is working to create a cohort of individuals and businesses that support Chefs for Impact’s mission to make good food more sustainable and accessible. 

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Using food as a beacon for change