The Daily Meal's Year in Chefs and Personalities 2011

Staff Writer
A look back at the chefs and icons The Daily Meal interviewed this year
Grant Achatz and Nick Kokonas
Arthur Bovino
Grant Achatz and Nick Kokonas

During 2011, The Daily Meal had the opportunity to interview a range of talented chefs, writers, and tastemakers in the food industry. 

We spoke to TV stars and personalities, such as Geoffrey Zakarian and Ted Allen. We got the scoop from Guy Fieri about his rumored plans to open a "larger than life" restaurant in New York City. Iron Chef Marc Forgione waned nostalgic over childhood memories of eating his father's food one evening and realizing in that moment that he wanted to become a chef. 

Some of the most charismatic, yet candid interviews were those with promising up-and-comers. We caught up with Jonathon Sawyer, named one of the Best New Chefs of 2010 by Food & Wine, as he geared up to open a ramen shop called Noodlecat in downtown Cleveland. And though he's well on his way to superstardom, Boston chef Ken Oringer took the time to chat about his greatest culinary influences and the chefs who have helped shape his career.

The Daily Meal's Year in Chefs and Personalities 2011 Slideshow.  

There were plenty of moments with industry veterans like Ferran Adrià, who graciously divulged his life plan (at least for now) for the next two years. We talked to Wolfgang Puck about his expectations for the L.A. food scene, Daniel Boulud about his theories on restaurant design, and Fergus Henderson about offal preparations around the globe (come to think of it, we chatted with Chris Cosentino of Incanto about offal too).

But chefs didn't get all the love this year. We were lucky enough to sit down with some of the best food writers in the business as well. For example, former New York Times critic Frank Bruni talked openly about his first alcoholic experience (though the details were a bit hazy, for sure), while Francis Lam of Gilt City spoke emphatically about the meatloaf sandwich at Rye in Williamsburg.

That's just a taste of the discussions with chefs and personalities published in 2011. Check out what other icons said this year.