The Culinary Game Changers of 2023

Chefs Who Became Game Changers for Their Food & Drinks

The culinary world has constantly been undergoing changes over the years in various aspects — be it in terms of experience, sustainability, or the very taste combinations found in food and drinks. In 2023, this change has surfaced through the hands of professionals from various diverse fields, including TikTokers, retailers, drink-makers, urban planners, and even manufacturers and artists. Read on to learn how these innovations came about.

De La Calle Tepache

Bringing the oldest and most popular drink from Mexico to the US for the first time in history, Rafael Martin del Campo and Alex Matthews, who founded De La Calle, have tasted huge success.

Lisa Cheng Smith

Through the grocery store Yun Hai, Lisa Cheng Smith, with her team, has carved a distinct niche for Taiwanese products in the US. Smith is determined to showcase the exact variety available in Taiwanese food products.

Reem Assil

Reem Assil

Revolutionizing the ownership of restaurants, Reem Assil has brought about a 15-month apprenticeship program named Sumond. Through it, she has trained her staff on the details of owning a business so that she can bring about a prototype model of an employee-owned co-op venture.

Great Wrap

Taking the huge amount of plastic waste as a jumping-off point, Julia and Jordy Kay brought about ‘Great Wrap,’ a potato waste-based cling film. Combining their plastic waste-related anxieties after having worked as an architect and drink producer, the couple partnered with Monash University for the cause.

Meherwan Irani

Meherwan Irani

Frustrated with the kind of representation Indian food had in America, Meherwan Irani launched Chai Pani in 2009. An Indian street food restaurant bringing forth an uncompromising vision of Indian food, it offers the best of the American South and India through uniquely authentic dishes.


Cooking well-fried dishes brings with it an unsustainable and messy residue in the form of throwing away oil. A welcome solution to this has been brought about in the form of sustainable plant-based oil solidifiers by FryAway. These powders and flakes, developed by Laura Lady, make hot oil into a hardened mass that’s easy to throw out.

Joanne Lee Molinaro

This “Korean Vegan’ attorney turned TikTok star has set out to teach the world about plant-based Korean cooking with distinct meaning and depth. Molinaro has given herself an edge over the others through an accompanying narration about sensitive topics. Through this, she has helped a new kind of home cooking emerge that is as instructional as it is touching and emotional.