We love all of our Best New Chefs from the past two decades, but these 50 exemplify four different kinds of success stories: as entrepreneurs, hometown heroes, creative visionaries or one-restaurant monogamists.

July 01, 2008

From a sushi star with 21 restaurants worldwide to a bread mogul–turned–pizza expert, these nine chefs have used their talent to build empires.

  • Hometown Heroes
  • Not all chefs want to open in Vegas. Some stay loyal to the cities that launched their careers, opening two (or three, or four) terrific restaurants there.

  • Visionaries
  • Driven by an idea—organics, avant-garde equipment, the ultimate pork bun—these men and women have inspired countless other chefs.

  • Monogamists
  • Concentrating their efforts at a single restaurant—at least for now—these chefs are dedicated to making their places as perfect as they can be.

    Jane Sigal is a Food & Wine contributing editor based in New York. She is researching a book on Paris wine bars.

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