These are the Restaurants You Need to Book Right Now
Every year, Food & Wine anoints its venerable picks of the Best New Chefs in America, and the names have just been released. What does this mean for you? Start making your reservations—because these places are about to get a lot harder to get into.
Food & Wine’s editors choose the Best New Chefs after a months-long selection process. They solicit nominations from restaurant critics, food writers, and other trusted experts around the country, searching for talented, creative chefs who have been in charge of a kitchen for five years or less. The editors visit each place to experience the food for themselves—staying incognito as they do it.
This year’s winners, hailing from restaurants in nine cities, join the ranks of past Best New Chefs such as Daniel Boulud, Thomas Keller, April Bloomfield, Nancy Silverton, Tom Colicchio, Michael Symon, Stephanie Izard, David Chang, Wylie Dufresne, and Nobu Matsuhisa, among many others.
Planning a domestic trip in the coming months? Check out which cities the winners are in, and don’t delay on those reservations.
Kevin Fink, Emmer & Rye
Executive Chef Kevin Fink brings a unique contemporary American menu to this new joint on Rainey Street. The first American restaurant in Austin to offer dim sum service, Emmer & Rye specializes in seasonally inspired farm-to-table cuisine, with an emphasis on freshly milled grains and spectacular butchery.
Iliana Regan, Elizabeth and Bunny, the Micro Bakery
Dubbed “The Queen of Midwestern Cuisine” by Chicago magazine, Iliana Regan is all about fresh and seasonal bounty at Elizabeth. The hot spot prides itself on a dedicated respect to ingredients and the Midwestern land, providing hungry customers with some of Chicago’s best local and seasonal fare. At Bunny, an off-shoot micro bakery of Elizabeth, Regan serves up the freshest classics in the coziest setting: think glazed doughnuts, toast brioche buns, and pierogis.
Kris Yenbamroong, Night + Market and Night + Market Song
Chef Kris Yenbamroong hails from a four-generation restaurant family—and his culinary expertise shines at Night + Market and Night + Market Song. Both of the restaurants feature modern Thai country food, and bring to the Los Angeles Thai food scene big and bold flavors that set the restaurant apart.
Brad Kilgore, Alter
Kansas native Brad Kilgore, executive chef of Miami’s Alter, is bringing exciting cuisine to Miami’s fine dining scene. Alter’s adventurous and always dynamic menu serves as a testament to Kilgore’s knack for mixing international flavors into a culinary masterpiece.
Michael Gulotta, MoPho and Tana
A third-generation Sicilian immigrant, Michael Gulotta has made a lasting impression in New Orleans, acting as executive chef of two of his own restaurants: MoPho, which weds New Orleans cuisine with that of the Southeast Asian community, and Tana, which features an ever-changing menu of light Italian fare dishes meant for sharing.
New York City
Jeremiah Stone & Fabián von Hauske, Contra and Wildair
A little more than two years ago, New York City chefs Jeremiah Stone & Fabián von Hauske debuted their vibrant tasting menu at Contra, wowing the Lower East Side and leaving customers wanting more—which they got, in the form of Stone and von Hauske’s wine bar, Wildair. Both restaurants have topped must-try lists for New York diners and have continued to impress food critics and chefs alike.
David Barzelay, Lazy Bear, San Francisco
Ravi Kapur, Liholiho Yacht Club, San Francisco
San Francisco is seeing the emersion of two great chefs this year. What began as an at-home dinner party experiment for self-taught chef David Barzelay has turned into something of a dinner club phenomenon in San Francisco. At Lazy Bear, diners sit along lengthy elm tables for a modern American dinner party, feasting on an extensive tasting menu while socializing with those around them.
Oahu-born chef Rabi Kapur’s restaurant Liholiho Yacht Club is bringing fresh island vibes to the city. It’s a casual place with a menu that combines Hawaiian, Chinese, and Indian cuisine for an unforgettable cultural fusion experience.
Edouardo Jordan, Salare
Edouardo Jordan’s restaurant Salare has quickly become a hot spot in Seattle; his diverse menu gives a nod to his past (impressive) culinary experiences (think Per Se, French Laundry, Lincoln Ristorante, The Herbfarm) while maintaining a distinct originality that keeps San Francisco diners returning for more.
Aaron Silverman, Rose's Luxury and Pineapple and Pearls
Chef Aaron Silverman has made what is sure to be a lasting impression on the restaurant scene in our nation’s capital. His restaurant Rose’s Luxury has become one of the most popular in D.C.; diners line up every weekend to score a seat at a table, and Obama even celebrated his birthday there last summer. His newest venture, Pineapple and Pearls, is said to open in early April. The restaurant will be a fine-dining, pre-set menu experience, and tickets will go for $250, which includes the multi-course dinner, wine, taxes, and gratuity.