The biggest innovators in gastronomy gathered in Bilbao, Spain today for the 2nd annual 50 Next event, featuring discussions and speeches by some of the top names in the culinary world. Choco was at the event to recognize sustainable producers changing the food and drink industry in environmentally-friendly ways with the Gamechanging Producers category. This category highlights the producers who are challenging the status quo, focusing on sustainability, and pushing at the boundaries of what food and drinks can be.
These eight producers are bringing new methods for food and drink production to the world of gastronomy. This list is not ranked, so each winner is equally deserving of the title of 50 Next Gamechanging Producer.
As co-founder and CEO of Boniviri, Corrado Paternò is bringing local, high-quality food from producers directly to consumers. Not only does Boniviri support consumers in making more local and sustainable decisions about their food, they work with producers to improve their farming practices.
Martin Texier is reviving wine-making traditions in Southern France with his own label, Martin Texier Wines. With a focus on natural, non-manipulated wines, Texier is bringing old local varieties back to life. He comes from a family of winemakers, and brings a deep respect for the land and sustainability to his growing process.
Chocolatier and chef Pol Contreras is a food innovator in many forms. As founder and owner of Chocolates Pol Contreras, he is expanding the world of chocolate to include unique products traditionally discarded from the chocolate process—from creating chocolate from cocoa mucilage to stout beer made with Papua cocoa husk. His aim is to create new production methods that focus on reusing waste.
As founder and CEO of Common Farms, Jessica Fong is bringing locally-produced agriculture to the heart of Hong Kong. The company uses idle industrial spaces around the city to create vertical indoor farms that grow high-quality organic produce. By keeping the production local, Fong is helping to reduce both food waste and the carbon footprint while bringing quality ingredients to Hong Kong’s community and best restaurants. The innovative vertical farming solution grows ten times as much food as a comparably-sized outdoor farm and uses 95% less water.
Dharath “Tot” Hoonchamlong
Darath Hoonchamlong, better known as Tot, is taking on food waste in the hospitality industry in a variety of ways. Tot is a co-founder of Wasteland, a creative bar fighting food waste by using leftovers repurposed from the kitchen to make cocktails and sodas out of unique ingredients. By using surplus produce, unfinished ingredients, and by-products typically leftover as food waste, Tot is spreading the word about sustainability and zero-waste with “messages in a bottle”.
Yu Hsuan Cheng
By infusing his chocolates with Taiwanese culture, Yu Hsuan Cheng is considered a pioneer of fine chocolates in his country. He is the founder and owner of Yu Chocolatier, combining French chocolate-making techniques with ingredients local to Taiwan. By creating new flavor profiles using jasmine flowers, longan fruit, and maqaw sourced from sustainable and ethical sources, Yu is combining chocolate and culture to share with the world.
As the project and community manager for agroforestry at Gut&Bösel, Rosanna Gahle manages five different complex agroforestry systems. These systems provide food and regenerative ecosystems with nut trees, fruits, herbs, and bushes to support holistic farming. Gahle and Gut&Bösel believe farms do more than produce products—they are complex ecosystems that can be the solution to environmental issues when traditional farming methods are combined with technology and innovations in agriculture.
Rahaf Al Lymoni
Rahaf Al Lymoni is the co-founder and CEO of FirstDate, a company based in the Netherlands making Daffee. Daffee, made from organic roasted date seeds, is an innovative alternative to tea and coffee. As a natural by-product of dates, date seeds are typically discarded in the production process. FirstDate harvests discarded date seeds from organic farms in Northern Africa to be roasted, ground, flavored, and sold in 100% biodegradable packaging.
Celebrating Sustainable Production
Our heartfelt congratulations to the Gamechanging Producers recognized by 50 Next! Changing the food industry will take innovation from across the world.
Take a look at the other creative gastronomists recognized by 50 Next across the categories of Tech Disruptors, Empowering Educators, Entrepreneurial Creatives, Science Innovators, Hospitality Pioneers and Trailblazing Activists.