The Two Most Influential Food People in the World, 2017 Edition
This year's Time 100 list honors two luminaries in the food world.
Among this year's Time 100 list of the most-influential people on Earth—a list that includes political leaders (such as Theresa May, Elizabeth Warren and, yes, Donald Trump), artists and creators (such as Emma Stone, Colson Whitehead, Leslie Jones and Ed Sheeran), and a category called "titans" (which name-checks Jeff Bezos, Evan Spiegel and LeBron James)—are two luminaries from the food world: Chobani's Hamdi Ulukaya and Boston Chef Barbara Lynch.
"Some years the list has the feel of a loose, lively dinner party, people who mostly don't know one another but would get along if they did. This year is a bit more complicated," writes Time Managing Editor Nancy Gibbs. "In divisive times, it's tempting to nestle in a comfort zone, surrounded by people who look like us, think like us, pray like us, vote like us. Yet many of the men and women on this year's list are calling us out, using the technologies that connect us to expand how we see the world."
To that end, Time commissioned Kenneth Roth, the executive director of Human Rights Watch, to author the accolades for Ulukaya, who has not only built a "flourishing yogurt company" and created thousands of jobs along the way, but has gone out of his way to employ refugees, and offers employees equity in his thriving business.
"Hamdi personifies the American dream," Roth writes, "showing that anyone arriving on U.S. shores with drive and intelligence can make it—and bring others along with him."
This year's Time 100 list also honors decorated Boston Chef Barbara Lynch, whose memoir Out of Line: A Life of Playing with Fire, released last week, details her rise from a poor upbringing in South Boston to a seven-restaurant-owning, two-time James Beard Award-winning restaurateur.
"Barbara grew up in one of the poorest neighborhoods in Boston, and decided to enter one of the most male-dominated fields in the world," writes Top Chef host Padma Lakshmi. "Now she has seven restaurants, four James Beard Awards and a memoir. She creates opportunities for herself, even when it seems like they do not exist... She is a great teacher and a true provider—not just of glorious foods but of different spaces for people to flourish and grow in."
Check out the full list of 2017 Time 100 honorees here.