Chefs are the most generous people in the world. Their reason for being is to make others happy by feeding them delicious food. And many chefs go a step further by donating their time to countless events that raise money to help those in need. I, for one, appreciate their efforts on behalf of City Harvest in New York City, my charity of choice. In this issue, we go inside the hearts and heads of some of the world's greatest chefs.
The issue's centerpiece is our story on the 10 Best New Chefs in Americaa monumental project. We love searching out and celebrating culinary talent; this year we found rising stars all over, from John Shields of Town House in Chilhowie, Virginia (population: 1,817), to Roy Choi of the Kogi Korean BBQ truck in Los Angeles. The quality of restaurant food is clearly improving across the country. As more people pursue cooking careers and seek out excellent meals outside of fancy dining rooms, our culinary options are multiplying at an exhilarating rate.
These up-and-coming young chefs are energized by visionaries like Pierre Gagnaire. The French master has an intensely loyal chef following for his dazzling, seemingly uncharacterizable cuisine. Contributing editor Jane Sigal sat down with Gagnaire before the opening of his latest restaurant, Twist, at the Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas, and tried to shed light on why his food continues to inspire so many of the world's best culinary talents.