Who's the most powerful person in your food world? Is it your roommate who always leaves leftovers unattended in the fridge? The bartender you're dating who sometimes gives you free drinks? Is it Jeremy Stoppleman, the Yelp CEO who also happened to make The Daily Meal's list of America's 50 Most Powerful People in Food for 2014?
Stoppelman joined local luminaries like Alice Waters of Chez Panisse and Thomas Keller of The French Laundry on the list, which also includes a gaggle of notorious celebrity chefs, critics, and businesspeople running gargantuan food entities like Pepsi, Nestlé, Trader Joe's and Tyson. Stoppelman made the cut for starting Yelp, which with 47 million local restaurant reviews and 117 million monthly unique visits, is the so-called "place to go before going out."
"With the recent creation of a political action committee and the hiring of lobbyists, there appears to be no stopping this growing behemoth," notes The Daily Meal.
Waters is a natural for the list, which did a fairly good job of including women (unlike Time magazine's recent Gods of Food issue, which only touted 13 men). Tapped for being "nutritionally conscious when nutritional consciousness wasn't cool," Water gets credit for introducing a whole generation of Americans to the notion of organic and locally sourced food. And up in Yountville, Keller got the nod for being "arguably the most respected chef in the country."
Neither could complete, though, with our gastronomical overlords in chilling positions of power. Behold, your Top 5:
1. Thomas Vilsack, Secretary, USDA
2. Hugh Grant, Chairman, President, and CEO, The Monsanto Company
3. Doug McMillion, President and CEO, Walmart
4. Michael R. Taylor, Deputy Commissioner for Food, Federal Drug Administration
5. Indra Nooyi, Chairman and CEO, Pepsi