Are you the kind of person who likes to know exactly what’s going on in the chef world? Then this is the issue for you. First, you have to turn to our story on the Best New Chefs 2007—10 cooks who rocked our world. One surprise: Many of them are at tiny, intensely personal restaurants. If your image of an up-and-comer is of a glory seeker with a camera-ready persona, then these are the anti-chefs. They’re the real deal—smart, informed, passionate—making incredible dishes like a warm summer salad with brown-butter dressing or a "knuckle sandwich" of fried green tomatoes layered with lobster.
The next must-read story for any chef watcher is "What Chefs Know Best." We polled 100 top talents about their favorite sushi, chocolate, knives, stoves and more. I know that a great cook can work with a rotten piece of equipment, but for those of us who aren’t quite as gifted, it’s always good to have some extra help. It’s also good to have a bit of instruction, so we gathered insights from stellar chefs for our "Chef Lessons" section. Some highlights: Thomas Keller takes on the humble egg and makes a mighty quiche; David Myers, an avid surfer, shares his body-conscious brasserie recipes; and Linton Hopkins teaches us how to preserve summer fruits and vegetables so we can eat local produce all winter long.
Every restaurant experience can be enhanced by a terrific wine list—that is, unless the list is criminally expensive. Our opinionated and penny-pinching executive wine editor, Lettie Teague, investigates why so many wine lists are overpriced and underwhelming—then gives tips on how not to get taken.