Meet The Team


Michel Nischan

Chef Michel Nischan is Wholesome Crave's founder, four-time James Beard award winning Chef, and three-time author leading the local and sustainable restaurant scene since 1981. A lifetime Ashoka Fellow, Michel serves as a Founding Director on the board of the Jacques Pepin Foundation, and on the advisory boards for Good Food Media Network and The Culinary Institute of America. He co-founded and helps curate the James Beard Chefs Boot Camps for Policy and Change, and was co-founder and partner with the late actor Paul Newman in the former Dressing Room Restaurant. Michel founded Wholesome Wave in 2007 in partnership with the late Undersecretary of Agriculture, Gus Schumacher, and with grant funding from Paul Newman. He then founded Wholesome Crave in 2018 to power the innovative systems change work of Wholesome Wave and revolutionize the plant-based food movement, one bowl of soup at a time.

Maneet Chauhan

Chef Maneet Chauhan is a member of the Wholesome Crave board of directors, and Chair of our Impact Board. She is an award-winning chef, author, and television personality of Punjabi origin. She is the founding partner and president of Morph Hospitality Group in Nashville, Tennessee, a restaurant group with three popular Nashville establishments. She has appeared on The Next Iron Chef, on The View on ABC, Iron Chef America, the Today show on NBC, and as a judge on the finale of Worst Cooks in America on Food Network. She has also won the 2021 Food Network competition Tournament of Champions. Maneet is a passionate advocate for the power of food in making the world a better place.


Wil Harkey

Wil Harkey is the Board Chair of Wholesome Crave.  He is also the founder of Nantahala Capital Management, an investment firm that has invested in hundreds of smaller public companies for over 17 years.  His experience at Nantahala has given him perspective on the many ways small companies succeed and grow.  In addition to his business pursuits, Harkey has been on the board of New Amsterdam, an organization focused on bringing music that doesn't neatly fit into standard genres to market, and Wholesome Wave, Wholesome Crave's non-profit partner focused on addressing and ending diet-related illness among low-income populations in the United States. 


Brette Waters

Brette Waters is the Director of Sales and Partnerships for Wholesome Crave. She brings over two decades of experience in sales, food service distribution and logistics, sustainable procurement program development, and non-profit operations. She most recently served as Executive Director of the non-profit Chefs to End Hunger, a food recovery organization focused on fighting food waste and food insecurity by diverting surplus food from food service operators, farms, wholesalers and manufacturers to regional charitable organizations providing services in their communities. Brette is passionate about food and nutrition advocacy, and working with diverse stakeholders to drive a more sustainable and equitable food system for all. She lives in Los Angeles, CA with her husband, three busy daughters, and two cats.


Doug Beacom

Doug Beacom runs Operations for Wholesome Crave. Doug is an educator, operator, leader, and a champion of imagination + the human experience both with and around food. Doug led the contract farming, packaging, and co-manufacturing initiatives that helped scale Farmhouse Culture to a national fermented foods brand. Now based in Sonoma County, Doug has served in leadership & operations roles for Miyoko’s Creamery, Revive Kombucha, and Dandelion Chocolate. With experience ranging from raw sauerkraut to mozzarella, and from bean-to-bar chocolate to adaptogens, Doug has served as VP of Manufacturing for Siddhi Operations, where he led outsourced commercialization, manufacturing and optimization projects with CPG brands across multiple platforms, distribution channels and stages of growth.

Lauren Ashley

Lauren Ashley is Director of Marketing at Wholesome Crave. She has led marketing initiatives for a spectrum of food-related brands for more than a decade, from dynamic startups like RTE Cuisine and ChefReady to esteemed national giants like Organic Valley and Niman Ranch. Lauren's journey began as farmers market manager and non-profiteer, fostering a profound connection to sustainable food. She then managed marketing at Niman Ranch for four years before moving to Changing Tastes in 2017, where she played a pivotal role in driving sustainability strategies for influential organizations like Seafood Watch, Aramark, and UMass Amherst. Having spent sigificant time at agencies the last five years, Lauren brings a wealth of experience and deep commitment to building and nurturing brands that resonate with authenticity and sustainability.

Lauren Ashley Nischan - Wholesome Crave