Meet Our Food Heroes

Food Interrupted is about what Panera and others are doing to change the food industry from the inside out. It's also about what you can do to make small changes, starting today! Each episode features a way for you to get involved in changing the future of food. 

Marcus Samuelsson is an award-winning chef, restaurateur, author and TV personality. The youngest recipient of a three-star review from The New York Times, he has won multiple James Beard Foundation Awards and was inducted into the James Beard Foundation Who’s Who of Food and Beverage in America in 2016. Samuelsson is the champion of television shows Top Chef Masters and Chopped All Stars. A committed philanthropist, Samuelsson co-produces Harlem EatUp! and is co-chair of the board of directors for Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP). He is the author of The New York Times bestselling memoir Yes, Chef, as well as many cookbooks. Samuelsson recently debuted his new TV series titled No Passport Required with VOX/Eater and PBS.

Marcus Samuelsson

Award-winning Chef, Restaurateur,
Author and TV Personality

Jon Hammond is a farmer at Vista Linda Ranch and one of the three farmers behind the Tehachapi Heritage Grain Project. Jon is one of the last remaining experts on Native American language and culture in Tehachapi. His mission is to bring back the original, non-modified, non-hybrid strains of grain that were grown by California’s earliest settlers.

Jon Hammond

Farmer, Vista Linda Ranch

Kevin Curry is the founder of FitMenCook, one of the most popular healthy food blogs and social communities in the world. In 2012, he began sharing his own health transformation - including healthy food ideas - to build a community and to keep himself accountable. Today, Kevin is the founder of one of the top selling Food & Drink Apps, FitMenCook. Kevin’s goal is to inspire people to live a healthier, more balanced lifestyle without compromising taste and flavor. This December, he is releasing a book with 100+ easy, quick meal prep recipes to help you get healthy on your own terms. 

Kevin Curry

Founder, FitMenCook

Rip Esselstyn, a former firefighter and triathlete, is an American health activist and food writer. He is the author of The Engine 2 Diet, "Plant-Strong,” and "The Engine 2 Seven-Day Rescue Diet." Esselstyn is known as an advocate of a whole food, plant-based diet, one that omits meat, fish, eggs, dairy and processed foods, which he calls a "plant strong" diet. He appeared in the 2011 documentary about plant-based nutrition, Forks Over Knives.

Rip Esselstyn

Health Activist and Food Writer

Sam Talbot is a chef, author, philanthropist and television personality. Diagnosed at a young age with Type 1 Diabetes, Sam lives every hour with a deep understanding of the impact of food on life and life on food. He is the author of The Sweet Life: Diabetes without Boundaries (Rodale) and 100% Real. He was a semi-finalist on season 2 of Bravo’s Top Chef - was voted “fan favorite." He's the founding Executive Chef of nationally acclaimed culinary destination The Surf Lodge in Montauk, NY and the founder of Beyond Type 1, a non-profit organization focusing on inspiring the Diabetic community.

Sam Talbot

Chef, Author, Philanthropist
and Television Personality

Inspired by invisible computing, and augmenting human capabilities, Katia Vega proposes novel ways of interacting with the world. Katia Vega is developing a technique that replaces Traditional tattoo inks with biosensors whose colors change in response to variations in the interstitial fluid. It blends advances in biotechnology with traditional methods in tattoo artistry. The Dermal Abyss creates a direct access to the compartments in the body and reflects inner metabolic processes in a shape of a tattoo.

Katia Vega

Beauty Tech Designer

Hannah Hart is an entertainer, online personality, bestselling author and philanthropist. She is a two-time New York Times best-selling author, has co-produced and starred in three films and hosted her own food and travel show on the Food Network, I Hart Food. She is the creator and star of the award-winning YouTube series My Drunk Kitchen. Named one of Forbes’ 30 Under 30, Hart was recognized by the White House for her impact through her international initiative "Have A Hart Day."

Hannah Hart

Entertainer, Online Personality
and Bestselling Author

Jose Luis Jaime spent years as a computer programmer before he decided to leave the city life behind. He is now the owner of JF Organic Farms, deep in Yucca Valley, CA where his free range chickens produce fresh white, brown, and green eggs.

Jose Luis Jaime

Owner, JF Organic Farms

Author, chef and philanthropist, Chris Cosentino is co-owner of San Francisco’s celebrated Cockscomb restaurant, among others. He has cooked at some of the country’s most beloved restaurants; while at Incanto, Cosentino drew critical acclaim for his innovative Italian and whole animal cooking. At Cockscomb, he showcases a range of sustainable meat cuts and dishes inspired by the city’s rich culinary and artistic history. He is the author of the 2012 cookbook Beginnings: My Way to Start a Meal as well as Offal Good: Cooking from the Heart with Guts. Cosentino won season four of BRAVO's "Top Chef Masters,” earning over $140,000 for The Michael J. Fox Foundation, and he is a member of Chefs Cycle, a 300-mile annual bicycle ride that raises funds and awareness in support of No Kid Hungry.

Chris Cosentino

Author, Chef and Philanthropist

Melissa Brandao is the CEO of HerdDogg, a wearable
tech (ear tags) for cattle that is used to measure
movement, body temperature, and micro-climate of the animal and transmit data back via bluetooth. The tech can tell if an animal is stressed, ready to breed, injured, sick, etc. HerdDogg competed on TBS’s series America’s Greatest Makers in 2016.

Melissa Brandao

CEO, HerdDogg

Rainn Wilson is best known for playing “Dwight Schrute” on NBC’s The Office. His film and television credits include Almost Famous, Six Feet Under, The Rocker, Super, Juno, Backstrom, Star Trek: Discovery, and The Meg.


Rainn co-founded SoulPancake, a digital media company that seeks to tackle “life’s big questions” and Lidè Foundation, an educational initiative in rural Haiti that empowers at-risk women and girls through the arts.

Rainn Wilson

Actor and Co-founder, SoulPancake

Dan is the creator of the app, Crop Swap, which connects urban gardeners to each other so that they can trade their crops. Based in Long Beach, CA, Dan is considered a leader in the urban gardener movement and teaches others how to start their own.

Dan McCollister

Creator, Crop Swap

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