Nora Pouillon is a pioneer and champion of organic and environmentally conscious cuisine who promotes and embodies healthy, sustainable living. Born in Austria, her inspiration in the kitchen comes from her parents who understood the value of simply prepared seasonal foods. For nearly 40 years, Nora owned and operated Restaurant Nora, in Washington, DC., before selling it in 2018. In In 1999, it became the first certified organic restaurant in the United States and was instrumental in creating organic certification standards for restaurants. She remains a consultant on organic issues, and founded the FRESHFARM Market in Washington, D.C. over twenty years ago, which focuses on showcasing organic farmers. Nora also co-founded Changing Seas, a sustainable aquaculture business, and as a leading spokesperson from the culinary industry, she worked with SeaWeb and the Natural Resources Defense Council to launch the Give Swordfish A Break media campaign in 1998.
This first large-scale effort to mobilize chefs and consumers in support of fisheries conservation also won the support of hotels, cruise lines, grocery stores, and airlines to stop serving North Atlantic swordfish. Nora’s recognition includes a Lifetime Achievement Award from the James Beard Foundation (1997) and the Golden Merit Award from Austria, as well as awards from the International Association of Culinary Professionals, Women Chefs & Restaurateurs, Santé, the Organic Trade Association, New Hope Natural Media, the American Horticultural Society, the Campaign for Better Health and others. In addition to The Ocean Foundation, Nora is also an active board member for FRESHFARM Market, Environmental Filmfest DC, Earth Day Network, and The Amazon Conservation Team.