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The People's Best New Chef

The People's Best New Chef: California Contenders

The People's Best New Chef: California Contenders

At F&W, we name America’s 10 most brilliant up-and-coming chefs every year. Now we want to know who you think is the most talented new chef in America.

Regions:
California, Great Lakes, Gulf Coast, Mid-Atlantic, Midwest, New England, New York Area, Northwest & Pacific, Southeast, Southwest

Matthew Accarrino

Photo © Ed Anderson

Matthew Accarrino

Restaurant: SPQR (Read a review)

Location: San Francisco

Why He's Amazing: Because he incorporates secrets he learned from some of America's greatest chefs, like Thomas Keller and Tom Colicchio, in his phenomenal updates on traditional Italian dishes.

Culinary School: The Culinary Institute of America (Hyde Park, NY)

Background: Olives, Oceana, RM Seafood, Per Se, Craft, Craftsteak, Craftbar (New York City); Craft Los Angeles


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Kim Alter

Photo © Sara Davis

Kim Alter

Restaurant: Plum (Read a review)

Location: Oakland, CA

Why She's Amazing: Because she brings down-to-earth boldness to cerebral dishes.

Culinary School: California Culinary Academy (San Francisco)

Background: Acquerello, Masa's, Gary Danko, Coi (San Francisco); NoMI (Chicago); Manresa (Los Gatos, CA); Ubuntu (Napa); Plate Shop (Sausalito, CA)


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Brett Cooper

Photo © Robert Birnbach

Brett Cooper

Restaurant: Outerlands (Read a review)

Location: San Francisco

Why He's Amazing: Because he transformed a humble soup-and-bread spot with his high-end cooking skills and dedication to sustainable ingredients, and people are lining up.

Culinary School: California Culinary Academy (San Francisco)

Background: Saison, Coi, Rubicon (San Francisco)


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Jordan Kahn

Photo © Anne Fishbein

Jordan Kahn

Restaurant: Red Medicine (Read a review)

Location: Beverly Hills

Why He's Amazing: Because he's created a menu full of fantastic Vietnamese flavors—and has never been to Vietnam.

Culinary School: Johnson & Wales University (Charleston, SC)

Background: Michael Mina/XIV (Los Angeles), Alinea (Chicago), Per Se (New York), the French Laundry (Yountville, CA)


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Jessica Koslow

Photo © Scott Barry

Jessica Koslow

Restaurant: Sqirl (Read a review)

Location: Los Angeles

Why She's Amazing: Because her sought-after jams and pickles—made with rare heirloom varieties—have transformed the way we think about preserves. And she now features them in dishes—savory and sweet—at her terrific East Hollywood café.

Culinary School: Self-taught

Background: Abattoir, Bacchanalia, Star Provisions (Atlanta)


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Ori Menashe

Photo © Andrea Bricco

Ori Menashe

Restaurant: Bestia (Read a review)

Location: Los Angeles

Why He's Amazing: Because he's a meat virtuoso: Bestia's menu offers more than 60 forms of sensational house-made charcuterie, in addition to impeccable pastas and pizza.

Culinary School: Self-taught

Background: Angelini Osteria, All'Angelo, Pizzeria Mozza, La Terza (Los Angeles)


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Evan & Sarah Rich

Photo © Michael O'Neal

Evan & Sarah Rich

Restaurant: Rich Table (Read a review)

Location: San Francisco

Why They're Amazing: Because the husband-and-wife team combines incongruous ingredients in unexpectedly delicious ways. Case in point: headcheese with coffee mustard.

Culinary School: Evan: The Culinary Institute of America (Hyde Park, NY); Sarah: the French Culinary Institute (New York City)

Background: Both: Bouley (New York), Coi (San Francisco); Evan: Quince (San Francisco); Sarah: Michael Mina (San Francisco)


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Ari Taymor

Photo © Brian McGinn

Ari Taymor

Restaurant: Alma (Read a review)

Location: Los Angeles

Why He's Amazing: Because less than six months after launching Alma as a pop-up restaurant, he attracted a die-hard following and landed a permanent space for his fresh, farm-driven cooking.

Culinary School: Self-taught

Background: Internship at La Chassagnette (Arles, France); Flour + Water, Bar Tartine (San Francisco); Plate Shop (Sausalito, CA)


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Ari Weiswasser

Photo © Tom Deininger

Ari Weiswasser

Restaurant: Glen Ellen Star (Read a review)

Location: Glen Ellen, CA

Why He's Amazing: Because after years of cooking in vaunted, mainly big city kitchens, he's highlighting the simple beauty of garden- and pasture-grown food in a town of 784 people.

Culinary School: The Culinary Institute of America (Hyde Park, NY)

Background: The French Laundry (Yountville, CA); Corton, Gilt, Daniel, Picholine (New York); Le Bec-Fin (Philadelphia)


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Kris Yenbamroong

Photo courtesy NIGHT+MARKET

Kris Yenbamroong

Restaurant: Night + Market (Read a review)

Location: West Hollywood, CA

Why He's Amazing: Because he created a terrific, innovative pork-centric Thai street food spot adjacent to his parents' well-respected but aging Thai restaurant on Sunset Boulevard.

Culinary School: Self-taught

Background: Talésai (West Hollywood)


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