Marianna Massey/Getty Images; Mike Coppola/Getty Images for The Cove, Paradise Island

Why these two figures have had a huge impact on the food world. 

Elisabeth Sherman
April 19, 2018

Time magazine has released its annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world. Among the honorees were some expected faces, like Oprah Winfrey, Jeff Bezos, and of course, Rihanna, as well as a couple people who rocked the food world: José Andrés and Olympian Chloe Kim.

Right now, Andrés is probably the most influential chef in the world. He’s an outspoken advocate for the right of immigrants, especially those from Central and South America—a population that makes up much of the service industry. In fact, Andrés once said that the restaurants “could not run” if immigrants were to be deported. 

Andrés has put his skills and experience as a chef to practical use and become one of the world’s leading humanitarians: He fed more than 3 million people in Puerto Rico—more than FEMA—in the wake of Hurricane Maria. After Hurricane Harvey hit Texas, he flew to Houston on his own to prepare meals for the victims before meeting up with the World Central Kitchen team.

This is a person who is so generous of spirit, that he handed out free food to the students who marched on Washington to demand gun reform, and invited an aspiring chef, who is battling cancer, over to his house for dinner. 

For his efforts to better the world, and feed people in need, the James Beard Foundation named him the Humanitarian of the Year, and he even received a standing ovation at the Oscars.

In his Time write up of Andrés, fellow chef Emeril Lagasse writes that “José is also a hero whose greatness transcends culinary excellence.”

Then we have Chloe Kim. On the surface, Kim doesn’t seem like a food influencer, but just as she did at the Olympics—she’s the youngest person to ever medal in the snowboarding halfpipe—Kim surprised us: Turns out, she can talk food like the biggest names in the business.

During the snowboarding trials, Kim tweeted that she was craving ice cream. That’s how good she is. During the rest of the Olympics, she kept tweeting about food—from the breakfast sandwich that she ate to how much she loves churros. The world was captivated.

When she came home triumphant from the games, Kim did the rounds on the late night talk shows, where she discussed her favorite goods—Oreo Mcflurries and Hawaiian pizza—with a grossed-out Gordon Ramsay. She’s also appearing on the Gold Medal Kellogg’s cereal box.

David Chang—another culinary icon—wrote about Kim for Time. He recalls that in the moment after her win he felt “incredibly happy for her—I made her a celebratory churro ice cream sandwich, which I think she called ‘bomb’.”

“She crushed it. Blew us all out of the water,” he continued. “Now the best thing Chloe Kim can do is be Chloe Kim.”