My F&W
quick save (...)
The People's Best New Chef

The People's Best New Chef: Gulf Coast Contenders

The People's Best New Chef: Gulf Coast

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.

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

Cory Bahr

Photo courtesy of Restaurant Cotton

Cory Bahr

Restaurant: Cotton (Read a review)

Location: Monroe, LA

Why He's Amazing: Because he's sourcing the best ingredients—from cornmeal and sweet potatoes to rabbits, venison and duck eggs—from friends and neighbors for his updated and spectacular Southern dishes.

Culinary School: Self-taught

Background: Sage (Monroe, LA); internships at Commander's Palace and Dickie Brennan's Steakhouse (New Orleans)

More on Cory Bahr

Michael Doyle

Photo © Johnny Gembitsky

Michael Doyle

Restaurant: Maurepas Foods (Read a review)

Location: New Orleans

Why He's Amazing: Because he's redefining modern Southern cooking with audacious dishes such as butternut squash with snails, pickled peanuts and spiced whiskey butter.

Culinary School: Self-taught

Background: Dante's Kitchen (New Orleans)

More on Michael Doyle

Juan Carlos Gonzalez

Photo © David G. Spielman

Juan Carlos Gonzalez

Restaurant: SoBou (Read a review)

Location: New Orleans

Why He's Amazing: Because his dishes inspired by Creole and Puerto Rican street food—like shrimp-and-tasso pinchos [bar snacks]—take pub food to a new level.

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

Background: Internship at Le Bernardin (New York City); Commander's Palace, Café Adelaide (New Orleans); Bistro Alex (Houston)

More on Juan Carlos Gonzalez

Jeffrey Hansell

Photo © Daniel Taylor Photography

Jeffrey Hansell

Restaurant: Veranda on Highland (Read a review)

Location: Birmingham, AL

Why He's Amazing: Because he's revamped the menu at a Birmingham mainstay with the kind of dishes you'd find at an amazing Southern dinner party—like fried pickles with garlic remoulade, and shrimp and grits made with local beer.

Culinary School: University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Coast (Long Beach, MS)

Background: Commander's Palace, Lüke (New Orleans); The Little Nell (Aspen, CO)

More on Jeffrey Hansell

Alex Harrell

Photo © Romney Photography

Alex Harrell

Restaurant: Sylvain (Read a review)

Location: New Orleans

Why He's Amazing: Because his thoughtfully prepared gastropub menu has locals in the touristy French Quarter queuing up for a seat.

Culinary School: Self-taught

Background: Mustard Seed (Charleston, SC); Galatoire's, Gerard's Downtown, Martinique Bistro, Bayona (New Orleans)

More on Alex Harrell

Phillip Lopez

Photo © Sara Essex Bradley

Phillip Lopez

Restaurant: Root (Read a review)

Location: New Orleans

Why He's Amazing: Because he's making New American food that's unabashedly postmodern. For instance, a dish of scallops with chorizo dust and caramelized cauliflower, served in a cigar box with Cohiba smoke piped in, is an ode to his Mexican-Cuban father's leathery-smelling cigars.

Culinary School: Self-taught

Background: Coastal Grill (Virginia Beach), Citronelle (Washington, DC); August, Lüke, American Sector, Rambla (New Orleans)

More on Phillip Lopez

Jose Mendin

Photo © Hector Torres

Jose Mendin

Restaurant: Pubbelly (Read a review)

Location: Miami Beach

Why He's Amazing: Because he's revitalizing Miami Beach's Sunset Harbour neighborhood with this boisterous, Asian-inspired gastropub.

Culinary School: Johnson & Wales University (North Miami)

Background: Mercadito, Nobu, Veranda (Miami); SushiSamba (Las Vegas)

More on Jose Mendin

Chris Newsome

Photo courtesy of Ollie Irene

Chris Newsome

Restaurant: Ollie Irene (Read a review)

Location: Mountain Brook, AL

Why He's Amazing: Because he's given his hometown its first gastropub, named in honor of his home-cooking sharecropper grandmother—and it's awesome.

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

Background: Bottega Café, Highlands Bar & Grill, Hot and Hot Fish Club (Birmingham, AL); Pizzeria Delfina, Spruce (San Francisco); FIG (Charleston, SC)

More on Chris Newsome

Giorgio Rapicavoli

Photo © Mario Davilas

Giorgio Rapicavoli

Restaurant: Eating House (Read a review)

Location: Coral Gables, FL

Why He's Amazing: Because he's translated his devotion to slow food, graffiti and childhood treats like Oreos into a wildly successful pop-up that's now a brick-and-mortar restaurant.

Culinary School: Coursework at Johnson & Wales University (North Miami)

Background: Chispa (Doral, FL), 660 at The Angler's (Miami Beach)

More on Giorgio Rapicavoli

José Santaella

Photo courtesy of Santaella

José Santaella

Restaurant: Santaella (Read a review)

Location: San Juan, Puerto Rico

Why He's Amazing: Because after years of working with some of the world's best European and American chefs, he's redefining cocina criolla—the cooking of his home, Puerto Rico.

Culinary School: Self-taught

Background: Le Bernardin New York City); Chez Michel, Gary Danko (San Francisco)

More on José Santaella

You Might Also Like powered by ZergNet


Add A Comment

    Add a Comment

    See our terms
    You must be logged in to comment. or
    You might also like
    The Dish
    Receive delicious recipes and smart wine advice 4x per week in this e-newsletter.
    The Wine List Weekly pairing plus best bottles to buy.
    F&W Daily One sensational dish served fresh every day.

    Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.

    Join celebrity chefs, renowned winemakers and epicurean insiders at the culinary world's most spectacular weekend, the FOOD & WINE Classic in Aspen, June 19-21.