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The People's Best New Chef

The People's Best New Chef: Northwest & Pacific 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

Greg Denton & Gabrielle Quiñónez Denton

Photo © Evan Sung

Greg Denton & Gabrielle Quiñónez Denton

Restaurant: Ox (Read a review)

Location: Portland, OR

Why They're Amazing: Because they're giving true credence to the term "grill masters" at their Argentine-inspired modern steakhouse.

Culinary School: Greg: Coursework at Paul Smith's College (Paul Smiths, NY); the Culinary Institute of America (Hyde Park, NY); Gabrielle: California Culinary Academy (San Francisco)

Background: Both: Terra (St. Helena), Metrovino (Portland, OR); Greg: Externship at Central Intelligence Agency (Langley, VA); Bouchon (Yountville, CA), Mala Ocean Tavern (Lahaina, HI); Gabrielle: Lahaina Yacht Club (Lahaina)


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Edouardo Jordan

Photo © Dylan + Jeni

Edouardo Jordan

Restaurant: Bar Sajor (Read a review)

Location: Seattle

Why He's Amazing: Because he went from being a server at Bennigan's (his first restaurant job) to cooking curious edibles (like spruce tips and chrysanthemum greens) over wood and fire at one of Seattle's hippest new restaurants.

Culinary School: Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts (Orlando, FL)

Background: Sitka & Spruce (Seattle); Lincoln, Per Se (New York City); The Herbfarm (Woodinville, WA)


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Chris Kajioka

Photo © Olivier Koning

Chris Kajioka

Restaurant: Vintage Cave Honolulu (Read a review)

Location: Honolulu

Why He's Amazing: Because, at 29, he was handpicked by a wealthy Japanese developer (Takeshi Sekiguchi, who'd never even tasted Kajioka's food) to create Honolulu's first super high–end luxury restaurant—and he's more than up to the task.

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

Background: Parallel 37, Aziza, The Dining Room at the Ritz-Carlton (San Francisco); Roy's (Honolulu); Per Se (New York City)


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Kevin Lee

Photo © Hawaii Hospitality

Kevin Lee

Restaurant: Prima (Read a review)

Location: Honolulu

Why He's Amazing: Because his globally accented dishes (taking cues from Italy to Japan) are both soul satisfying and—thanks in part to his food science background— masterfully cooked.

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

Background: Dovetail, Oceana (New York City)


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Joshua McFadden

Photo © Stuart Mullenberg

Joshua McFadden

Restaurant: Ava Gene's, Roman Candle Baking Co. (Read a review)

Location: Portland, OR

Why He's Amazing: Because his rustic Roman pastas and meats are fantastic, but his simple vegetable iterations—like a salad of apples, walnuts, chile and lime—are mind-bogglingly good.

Culinary School: Le Cordon Bleu (Portland, OR)

Background: Franny's (Brooklyn); Lupa, Momofuku Ssäm Bar, Blue Hill (New York City)


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Sarah Pliner

Photo © John Valls

Sarah Pliner

Restaurant: Aviary (Read a review)

Location: Portland, OR

Why She's Amazing: Because she's injecting fun and creativity into Portland's already successful farm-to-table model. Her unexpected yet winning ingredient combinations include fried chicken skin, bitter greens, watermelon and baba ghanoush.

Culinary School: Self-taught

Background: Alain Ducasse at the Essex House, Tocqueville, Tabla, Socialista, Aldea (New York City)


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Sheldon Simeon

Photo courtesy of Star Noodle

Sheldon Simeon

Restaurant: Migrant (Read a review)

Location: Kihei, HI

Why He's Amazing: Because he's meshing his Hawaiian background with local produce and Asian techniques at this no-frills Filipino gastropub.

Culinary School: Maui Culinary Academy (Kahului, HI)

Background: Star Noodle, Aloha Mixed Plate, Old Lahaina Luau (Lahaina, HI)


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Scott Snyder

Photo © John Valls

Scott Snyder

Restaurant: Levant (Read a review)

Location: Portland, OR

Why He's Amazing: Because he's applying French techniques to Sephardic ingredients—that is, flavors from southern Europe, North Africa and the Middle East—and the results are original, beautiful and delicious.

Culinary School: Self-taught

Background: Wildwood (Portland, OR); Jardinière, Postrio (San Francisco)


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Johanna Ware

Photo courtesy of Smallwares

Johanna Ware

Restaurant: Smallwares (Read a review)

Location: Portland, OR

Why She's Amazing: Because she's shaking up Portland's food scene with her fiery, Asian-accented small plates.

Culinary School: Self-taught

Background: Public, Momofuku Noodle Bar, Momofuku Ssäm Bar (New York City); Nostrana (Portland, OR)


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Justin Woodward

Photo © Susan Seubert

Justin Woodward

Restaurant: Castagna (Read a review)

Location: Portland, OR

Why He's Amazing: Because he's a vegetable fanatic dedicated to Oregon ingredients, a modern sensibility and the traditions of Alain Ducasse and Joël Robuchon.

Culinary School: The Art Institute of California (San Diego)

Background: WD-50 (New York City), L'Auberge Del Mar (Del Mar, CA), internships at Noma (Copenhagen) and Mugaritz (San Sebastián, Spain)


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