One of the most exciting aspects of F&W’s mission is identifying the country’s talented up-and-coming chefs. In this issue, we introduce our 20th class of Best New Chefs. They are a groundbreaking bunch: There’s the first BNC over 50 years old; the first at a vegetarian restaurant; and the first in St. Louis. I hope you’ll try their recipes—these are impressively simple dishes. To get started, I recommend the Greek scallop sandwiches or the smoky pork pappardelle.
Many of our BNCs, over time, become known for a signature dish. For our Chef Recipes Made Easy column, F&W’s amazing Test Kitchen adapted 10 famous recipes from 10 of the country’s most revered chefs, all past BNCs. I never thought I’d be able to make anything like Daniel Boulud’s chilled five-pea soup, but our simplified version gives me hope. For our Fast column, F&W’s Grace Parisi created delicious recipes using methods she’s learned from 13 years of testing BNC recipes. My favorite: her chicken-and-cheese tamales.
After we honor our BNCs for their originality and raw talent, it’s exhilarating to see their careers take off. In “Hall of Fame: 50 Best New Chefs,” we detail the achievements of 50 winners, from 1988 to today. Some own multiple restaurants—Nobu Matsuhisa has 21—while others dedicate themselves to a single place; whatever their path, they’re always worth watching.