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The People's Best New Chef

The People's Best New Chef: Great Lakes Contenders

The People's Best New Chef: Great Lakes

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

Johnny Anderes

Photo © Jim Luning / luningphoto.com

Johnny Anderes

Restaurant: Telegraph (Read a review)

Location: Chicago

Why He's Amazing: Because as the seasons change, the dishes he creates with each day's produce are rarely what you'd expect. For example, springtime: sweetbreads with bucatini and rhubarb agrodolce.

Culinary School: Coursework at the Art Institutes International Minnesota (Minneapolis)

Background: Avec (Chicago), Ciola's (Austin)


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Dave Beran

Photo © Christian Seel

Dave Beran

Restaurant: Next (Read a review)

Location: Chicago

Why He's Amazing: Because not only does he conceive of the concepts for Next's over-the-top theme menus (Paris 1906; Childhood; Kyoto; Vegan—to name a few) with chef Grant Achatz, he makes them happen, and they are unforgettable theatrical—even emotional—experiences.

Culinary School: Self-taught

Background: Alinea, Tru, MK the Restaurant (Chicago); Latitudes (Howard City, MI)


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Abraham Conlon

Photo © Galdones Photography / Fat Rice

Abraham Conlon

Restaurant: Fat Rice (Read a review)

Location: Chicago

Why He's Amazing: Because the food he cooks at Fat Rice (based on that of Macao, which melds the Chinese, Portuguese, Malay and Indian flavors of its colonial history) is amazingly innovative and fun.

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

Background: Augustine's (Fredericksburg, VA), Norman's (Orlando, FL), Stonehedge Inn (Tyngsboro, MA)


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Thai Dang

Photo courtesy of Embeya

Thai Dang

Restaurant: Embeya (Read a review)

Location: Chicago

Why He's Amazing: Because his superlative food melds Vietnamese flavors from his childhood with French and Chinese cooking techniques, resulting in stunning dishes like garlic chicken prepared Peking duck style.

Culinary School: L'Academie de Cuisine (Gaithersburg, MD)

Background: CityZen, Zentan (Washington, DC); L2O, Ria, Balsan (Chicago)


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Curtis Duffy

Photo © Michael Muser

Curtis Duffy

Restaurant: Grace (Read a review)

Location: Chicago

Why He's Amazing: Because in a restaurant world that continues to trend toward casual, he's keeping fine luxurious dining alive and well in Chicago.

Culinary School: Self-taught

Background: Charlie Trotter's, Trio, Alinea, Avenues (Chicago); the French Laundry (Yountville, CA)


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Micah Frank

Photo courtesy of Black Market

Micah Frank

Restaurant: Black Market (Read a review)

Location: Indianapolis

Why He's Amazing: Because he's helped make Indianapolis a foodie destination by offering an exceptional gastropub menu.

Culinary School: Self-taught

Background: R Bistro (Indianapolis), Restaurant Eve (Alexandria, VA)


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Chris Hodgson

Photo courtesy of Hodge's

Chris Hodgson

Restaurant: Hodge's (Read a review)

Location: Cleveland

Why He's Amazing: Because he pioneered Cleveland's acclaimed food-truck scene with his quirky takes on American comfort food, now featured at this brick-and-mortar spot.

Culinary School: Le Cordon Bleu Scottsdale (Scottsdale, AZ)

Background: Christopher's Crush (Phoenix), The Spotted Pig (New York), Dim and Den Sum Truck (Cleveland)


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Matthew Kirkley

Photo © Anjali Pinto

Matthew Kirkley

Restaurant: L2O (Read a review)

Location: Chicago

Why He's Amazing: Because he translates his training with haute cooking titans like Paris chef Yannick Alléno into opulent yet playful dishes.

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

Background: NoMI, One Sixty Blue, Ria (Chicago); Joël Robuchon at the Mansion (Las Vegas)


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Nicole Pederson

Photo © Galdones Photography

Nicole Pederson

Restaurant: Found (Read a review)

Location: Evanston, IL

Why She's Amazing: Because she's updating familiar comfort foods with global flavors (like harissa, za'atar and garam masala), and the results are incredibly addictive.

Culinary School: The Art Institutes International Minnesota (Minneapolis)

Background: C-House, Lula Café (Chicago); Gramercy Tavern (New York City)


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Carlos Salazar

Photo courtesy of Rook

Carlos Salazar

Restaurant: Rook (Read a review)

Location: Indianapolis

Why He's Amazing: Because he's expanding Indianapolis's food scene with the kind of boldly flavored Asian street food that was once hard to find outside L.A. or New York (or Southeast Asia).

Culinary School: The Chef's Academy (Indianapolis)

Background: Oakley's Bistro, Tulip Noir (Indianapolis); Pizzology (Carmel, IN)


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