"These are the men and woman who have made a substantial impact on the way we eat," explains a spokesman. "Their decisions directly affect what we consume day to day - for better or for worse."
Though most of the players on the list are corporate and government types whose companies and federal agencies have international influence, included are Santa Rosa-based restaurateur-TV host Guy Fieri (pictured), who was the subject of a media blitz when the New York Times' restaurant critic blasted his Guy's American Kitchen & Bar in Times Square in mid-November; Napa Valley restaurateur Thomas "The French Laundry" Keller; restaurateur Wolfgang Puck, whose Spago in L.A. helped spark the California cuisine movement when it opened in 1982; author and TV host Anthony "No Reservations" Bourdain; author Michael "The Omnivore's Dilemma" Pollan; and New York restaurateur-chef Mario Batali.
Here are the top 10 influencers. See the complete list at www.thedailymeal.com. P.S.: Coming in at No. 50 - "the American farmer."
1. The "food gurus" of Google: Bernardo Hernandez, director of product management and managing director at Zagat; and Jack Menzel, product managing director
2. Hugh Grant, CEO of the Monsanto Company
3. Michael Taylor, deputy commissioner for foods at the Food and Drug Administration
4. Patricia Woertz, CEO of agricultural processor Archer Daniels Midland
5. Mike Duke, CEO of Walmart
6. Indra Nooyi, CEO of Pepsi
7. Donald Thompson, CEO of McDonald's
8. Ben Silbermann, CEO online pinboard Pinterest
9. Gregory Page, CEO of food producer and marketer Cargill
10. Thomas Vilsack, secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture