NORA POUILLON Owner/Chef, Asia Nora
1999: The internationally known Nora became the first certified organic restaurant in the country.
Nora Pouillon, true believer in a sustainable lifestyle, is a longtime advocate for increasing the quality and nutritional value of the food supply. She is the chef and owner of two of Washington, DC's most popular restaurants.
Featuring organic multi-ethnic cuisine, the internationally known Nora opened in 1979 and has been praised for its high quality and healthy approach to eating in publications as varied as The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, New York Times Magazine, USA Today, Gourmet, Self and Vogue. Her second restaurant, Asia Nora, serves uniquely interpreted dishes from across Asia. In April 1999, Nora became the first certified organic restaurant in the country, with 95% of all ingredients coming from certified organic producers and has been named one of the "Top 10 Healthiest Restaurants" by Health Magazine and received a 4-star rating from Mobil Travel Guide 2000. Nora has been recognized as Chef of the Year by The American Tasting Institute and Chef of the Year - Award of Excellence by the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP).
Nora's commitment to healthy eating extends beyond the kitchens of her two restaurants. She consulted for the Fresh Fields Wholefoods Market, developing a repertoire of flavorful low-fat dishes for the prepared foods counter. Nora is consultant to Walnut Acres, a pioneer and leader in the organic foods industry, where she has developed an interesting and convenient line of risottos, mashed potatoes, soups, stews, and cookie mixes. One of Nora's most rewarding activities has been her work with USDA Team Nutrition "Food Family and Fun," a seasonal healthy eating cookbook for school children, and the USDA's campaign to improve the quality of public school cafeteria lunches She teaches elementary school children the Chefs Collaborative Sustainable Cuisine Education Program "Adopt A School" introducing them to traditional foods from across the world. Nora is a founding board member of Chefs Collaborative 2000, a national organization which promotes environmentally sustainable living. Nora is leading spokesperson for the NRDC/SeaWeb "Give North Atlantic Swordfish A Break" campaign and national spokesperson for the 1998 National Food Safety Education Month, sponsored by the International Food Safety Council.
Nora is the author of Cooking with Nora, a seasonal menu cookbook. With over 120 photographs, this user-friendly cookbook with wine suggestions, nutritional information, and helpful "Nora's Notes," is written with the home cook in mind Cooking with Nora was a finalist for the 1996 Julia Child Cookbook Awards, "First Book" Category.
Working to promote women in the culinary professions, Nora is an active member of the Washington chapter of Les Dames d'Escoffier, the International Association of Women Chefs and Restaurateurs and serves on the Board of Women Chefs and Restaurateurs. She has appeared on the television show, Working Woman and Phyllis C. Richman, the food critic for The Washington Post, chose Nora as one of three women among the dozen "power chefs" in Washington. Born in Vienna in 1943, Nora attributes her commitment to healthy dining to her parents. Breaking with Austrian culinary tradition, they believed in eating simply prepared meals made with top-quality seasonal ingredients. She lives with her partner, Steven, and two of her four children in the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, DC.