When we talk about the hospitality industry, we don't just mean restaurants, we're talking about the food and drink community at large: the farmers who grow the food that ends up on our plates, the sommeliers who introduce you to your new favorite wines, the technology platforms helping independent restaurants thrive in a digital age. We're talking about servers and bartenders, businesses and nonprofits, food writers and food activists. It's a community brimming with innovation, and with people in all sectors who are redefining the culinary field. Food people are dreaming bigger and acting more boldly than ever before.
Each year, we survey the industry to select a group of Food & Wine Game Changers: the people and companies changing the way we eat and drink for the better. For this year's list, we tapped into F&W editors and hospitality experts, as well as our 2021 Food & Wine Game Changers. We heard from trailblazers like baker Bryan Ford, who told us he was excited about Ghetto Gastro, the chef collective "pushing new, Black-owned cookware and baking mixes into the market." Sahra Nguyen, founder of Nguyen Coffee Supply, and Jing Gao, founder of Fly By Jing, both pointed to Sanzo, the first Asian-inspired sparkling water, as an innovator to watch.
This year's 16 Game Changers come from all corners of the hospitality world. Within restaurants themselves, there's a sommelier on the list making dining out more accessible to people with physical disabilities. Within food media, there's a writer whose new media company is telling expansive stories linking culture, food systems, and politics. Some of our Game Changers are newly-minted; others have been doing good work for decades. Yet they're all dedicated to making the world a more inclusive, sustainable, and delicious place. Their goals are grand, their talents are boundless, and their work speaks for itself. Read on to meet the second annual class of Food & Wine Game Changers. — Nina Friend, Features Editor