The good people at Food & Wine have some killer jobs, number one being eating their way through the country to find the Best New Chefs. This year the list includes 10 fascinating culinary pros from both coasts and a few places in between. Let’s meet them.
No surprise Texas is bringing their A-game when it comes to food. We’ve long known they were funky and fresh and their chefs are lighting up the kitchen. Food & Wine tapped Yoshi Okai from Otoko in Austin and Diego Galicia and Rico Torres from Mixtli in San Antonio. Okai is bringing modern touches to Japanese sushi and Galicia and Torres are making magic happen with an experimental 12-seat restaurant with a new Mexican menu every 45 days.
California has a wealth of culinary talent. In San Francisco, Val Cantu from Californios; in Los Angeles Sara Kramer and Sarah Hymanson from Kismet; and also in Los Angeles Jordan Kahn from Destroyer. At Californios, you’ll find a mix of Napa and modern American cooking with a touch of Mexican flavor. At Kismet, get your Middle Eastern fix with dishes like freekeh fritters and roasted potatoes with labneh and macadamia nut. We urge you to check out the Destroyer yourself, with a menu that tops out at $14 and a follow up project that promises an “immersive” experience. (We told you, check it out.)
In Oregon, Peter Cho got the nod for Han Oak, a $35 per head party that serves “exciting” Korean food. While seated around at a table you can watch Cho and his tea mix up with hand cut noodles for egg droup soup or plate up a smoked hangar steak while listening to new rap. We’d like to RSVP for the next available date, please.
Chicago is a great food town (duh) and Noah Sandoval at Oriole is part of the reason. Sandoval works in fine dining and is putting out a 16-course tasting menu that is a mix of … well everything. You’ll find hamachi with yuzu kosho and genmai; capellini with white truffle, crunchy rye berries and yeast butter; and sourdough, with whipped butter, wheat berries and caraway.
In New Orleans, check out Nina Compton working at Compere Lapin. There she’s all about cooking with French, Southern and Haitian flavors and showcasing the best of the Caribbean with dishes like a Caribbean seafood pepper pot and curried goat.
In New York, Food & Wine is loving the work of Angie Mar at The Beatrice Inn, a steakhouse that is reimagining the classic experience. You’ll find an English game meat pie, a salt-cured, smoked, and roasted duck, and beef in blackberries and prawn butter.
And finally on Orcas Island, check out Jack Blackinton of Hogstone’s Wood Oven. There’s a farm to table vibe: Blackinton raises his own pigs, digs his own clams, and grows his own veggies. On the table, Food & Wine found pork loin chops with burnt pear, potato purees with a jiggly egg and salmon roe, and beans with thin sliced pumpkin.
Congrats to all the chefs. We’ll be trying to make our way through this list…