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Charles Michel in chef's whites in a kitchen on a stool
Podcast / Career Conversations
Podcast / Career Conversations

Charles Michel – putting the philosophy into food

Charles Michel is a man of many talents, not least, thinking deeply about cooking.

You may recognise him from the Netflix show “The Final Table”, where he was selected to take part in a global culinary competition.

But Charles’ career has taken him on all sorts of journeys, and his love of the art, science and philosophy of cooking is what motives him.

In this episode of the Career Conversations podcast series, he reveals all about his career to date, and discusses some of the philosophical issues he feels are relevant to the food industry today.

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Charles Michel, Educator and Activist

Charles Michel is a nomad philomath, working at the intersection of food education and food activism.

He connects art, gastronomy, psychology, cross modalism, human-centred design, theory of change and ritual to catalyse communities and foster human development.

He was recently selected as ‘one of the best chefs in the world’ to participate in Netflix’s Global Culinary Competition ‘The Final Table’.

Originally trained at the Institut Paul Bocuse and in classical fine-dining kitchens in Europe, including two years at Dal Pescatore Santini, one of the best restaurants in the world.

Between 2009 and 2012, he ran a multi-disciplinary community of artists creating immersive cultural events in abandoned urban spaces in Bogotá.

Based at Oxford University between 2013 and 2015, he studied the convergence of art, science and multi-sensory food aesthetics at the department of experimental psychology-publishing over a dozen papers in scientific journals on modalsensory perception.

Most recently, he was a co-editor of the Gastrophysics issue of the International Journal of Food Design.

He has given over 50 talks on the future of food, including three TEDx talks, and presentations at the Royal Institution of Science in London, and the Royal Society.

Today, he works as an experience designer in a variety of fields, as a Creator on Patreon, as a food educator, flavour expert, and as an artist using food and ritual as medium.

He is co-founder of Michel/Fabian, a design studio looking at the future of cutlery, has worked with the World Food Programme in Colombia, and teaches culinary leadership, sensorial exploration and transformational hospitality at the Institut Paul Bocuse in Lyonand the Basque Culinary Center in San Sebastián.

The World’s 50 Best Restaurants and Bars recently named him an Empowering Educator in the 50 Next Class of 2022, a list of global game changers shaping the future of gastronomy.

At the intersection of science, food, community and entrepreneurship, Charles is currently writing his first book, aiming to inspire solutions for substantial challenges in the human/nature relationship.

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