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The People's Best New Chef

The People's Best New Chef: Midwest Contenders

The People's Best New Chef: Midwest

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

Paul Berglund

Photo © Greg Jansen

Paul Berglund

Restaurant: The Bachelor Farmer (Read a review)

Location: Minneapolis

Why He's Amazing: Because he's redefining Nordic cooking in Minnesota with his sophisticated and modern treatment of its humble ingredients.

Culinary School: Self-taught

Background: Oliveto (Oakland, CA), Rustica Bakery (Minneapolis), Heartland Restaurant (St. Paul)


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Thomas Boemer

Photo © Megan Hoy

Thomas Boemer

Restaurant: Corner Table (Read a review)

Location: Minneapolis

Why He's Amazing: Because he combines European techniques, Low-Country influences and prime Midwestern ingredients in clever ways.

Culinary School: Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts (Mendota Heights, MN)

Background: Hotel Sofitel, 20.21 (Minneapolis); Mandalay Bay, Mix (Las Vegas)


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Ryan Brazeal

Photo © Paul Andrews, courtesy of KC Magazine

Ryan Brazeal

Restaurant: Novel (Read a review)

Location: Kansas City, MO

Why He's Amazing: Because he's brought a refined sensibility to seasonal Midwestern ingredients in dishes like chilled corn soup with seaweed, fermented crab paste, marinated clams and jalapeño.

Culinary School: Johnson County Community College (Overland Park, KS)

Background: Má Pêche, Allen & Delancey, Country, Nobu 57 (New York City)


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Tim Dahl

Photo courtesy of Tim Dahl

Tim Dahl

Restaurant: Nostrano (Read a review)

Location: Madison, WI

Why He's Amazing: Because although he trained as a pastry chef, Dahl's Italian-inflected savory dishes are incredibly spot-on.

Culinary School: Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts (Mendota Heights, MN)

Background: Blackbird, Avec, NoMI (Chicago)


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Dan Fox

Photo © Nicole Peaslee

Dan Fox

Restaurant: Heritage Tavern (Read a review)

Location: Madison, WI

Why He's Amazing: Because not only is his Asian-accented cooking both hearty and refined, he also raises his own heritage pigs.

Culinary School: Kendall College (Chicago)

Background: The Madison Club (Madison); Spring, Everest (Chicago)


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Thomas Hauck

Photo © Kevin J. Miyazaki

Thomas Hauck

Restaurant: C. 1880 (Read a review)

Location: Milwaukee

Why He's Amazing: Because of the unexpected flavors in his hyper-seasonal cooking, for instance, venison with coffee and pasilla crust, served with cabbage and Bosc pear slaw.

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

Background: Le Globe (Perpignan, France), l'Essentiel (Chambéry, France), Citronelle (Washington, DC), Mason Street Grill (Milwaukee)


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Ben Poremba

Photo © Greg Rannells

Ben Poremba

Restaurants: Elaia, Olio (Read a review)

Location: St. Louis

Why He's Amazing: Because he ingeniously serves upscale and rustic interpretations of Mediterranean ingredients in side-by-side restaurants. And the food is delicious.

Culinary School: Self-taught

Background: The Maryland House (St. Louis)


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Patrick Ryan

Photo © Lyndon Wade/The Wade Brothers

Patrick Ryan

Restaurant: Port Fonda (Read a review)

Location: Kansas City, MO

Why He's Amazing: His food truck was such a sensation, he had to open a restaurant to meet the demand for his deftly spiced regional Mexican cooking.

Culinary School: The Western Culinary Institute (Portland, OR)

Background: Frontera Grill, Topolobampo (Chicago); Room 39, The River Club (Kansas City, MO)


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Carl Thorne-Thomsen

Photo © Matt Kocourek

Carl Thorne-Thomsen

Restaurant: Story (Read a review)

Location: Prairie Village, KS

Why He's Amazing: Because he's turning out incredible European-inspired dishes in a shopping center in suburban Kansas.

Culinary School: Self-taught

Background: 40 Sardines (Overland Park, KS); Michael Smith Restaurant, Extra Virgin (Kansas City, MO)


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Cassy Vires

Photo © Jennifer Silverberg

Cassy Vires

Restaurant: Home Wine Kitchen, Table (Read a review)

Location: Maplewood, MO; St. Louis

Why She's Amazing: Because she channeled her love for throwing dinner parties for friends into a full-time career, serving delicious, inspired New American dishes.

Culinary School: The Art Institute of Houston

Background: Ernesto's Wine Bar, Viking Cooking School (St. Louis)


More on Cassy Vires

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