Food & Wine has been naming their annual list of the Best New Chefs for the last 25 years. They have anointed everyone from Daniel Boulud to Thomas Keller to Grant Achatz in their early years as chefs. This year’s class is equally as exciting for the magazine, but is also notable because of the range and diversity in the group. We caught up with Food & Wine editor-in-chief Dana Cowin at last night’s event celebrating the new inductees, and she was particularly excited about the list. "One of the reasons is they are so different from each other," she said. "Other years you look and you say 'There’s a theme here'... This year we have everything from Michael Voltaggio doing molecular gastronomy at Ink in LA to Jamie Malone at Sea Change in Minneapolis." The chefs vary in location from Memphis, Tenn., to Puerto Rico.
Many of the chefs who attended the event, ranging from Marea's Michael White to wd~50 and Alder's Wylie Dufresne noted how important the award can be for a chef’s career. Tom Colicchio of Top Chef and Craft Restaurants got a bit nostalgic, noting, "I won back in ‘91 and it meant so much to me. It was a long time ago!" Chefs like Anne Burrell called the award "invaluable."
But the most excited attendees were the winning chefs themselves. Danny Bowein of Mission Chinese Food noted that "It’s insane. When you look back 25 years... It’s amazing, it’s an honor. Those are really huge shoes to fill." Andrew Ticer of Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen commented that "We looked up to this award, it’s an elite group of people... So it’s just really exciting."
For more from the winning chefs as well as attendees including Kevin Sbraga and Dale Talde, watch the video above!