The People's Best New Chef: New York Area Contenders

By F&W Editors Posted April 01, 2015

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.

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

Thomas Chen

Photo © Noah Fecks

Thomas Chen

Restaurant: Tuome

Location: New York City

Why He's Amazing: Because the former accountant couldn’t resist cooking as his life’s work (much to the dismay of his Chinese-restaurant-owning parents); now, he’s ingeniously reinterpreting the flavors of his childhood through a fine-dining lens at his own fashionably spare East Village spot.

Background: Commerce, Eleven Madison Park (New York City)

Quintessential Dish: Pig Out: Berkshire pork for two with spicy peanut noodles and ginger scallion sauce

Rookie Move: “My first month of culinary school, I was heating a pan over high heat until it was literally smoking hot and added oil. The whole pan immediately caught on fire, and all I could do was stare at the pan. My teacher had to come put the fire out. Pretty embarrassing.”

Markus Glocker

Photo © Daniel Krieger

Markus Glocker

Restaurant: Bâtard

Location: New York City

Why He's Amazing: Because his cooking manages to be at once technically precise (thanks to his years with Charlie Trotter and Gordon Ramsay), European (he was born, raised and initially trained in Austria) and full of soul. Case in point: his veal “tramezzini,” a tenderloin wrapped first in Swiss chard, then a golden crust, served with veal jus and chanterelles.

Background: Gordon Ramsay at the London (New York City); Charlie Trotter’s (Chicago); Restaurant Steirereck (Vienna)

Quintessential Dish: Granny Smith apple and sweetbread strudel with tarragon and truffle vinaigrette

On Gordon Ramsay’s Soft Side: “When I worked at Gordon Ramsay at Claridge’s in London, we were working 18 hours a day. We had a chance one day to be outside in the park for 15 minutes and listen to the radio, and Gordon was on. The DJ asked him what song he’d play for his chefs, and Gordon said, ‘Bryan Adams’s “(Everything I Do) I Do it For You.” ’ Coming from Gordon, it was really funny.”

James Kent

Photo © Michael Matisse

James Kent

Restaurant: The NoMad

Location: New York City

Why He's Amazing: Because he’s a perfectionist with passion: The classically trained actor and musician represented the US in the 2011 Bocuse d’Or cooking competition, rehearsing each of his dishes 80 to 100 times and placing 10th in the world. Today, his offerings at The NoMad—like a summery broth of clams, corn and heirloom tomatoes—involve steps like cutting corn off the cob one row at a time (in order to keep the kernels intact and not lose the sweet corn liquid).

Background: Eleven Madison Park, Gordon Ramsay at The London, Jean-Georges (New York City)

Quintessential Dish: Slow-roasted cod with matsutake mushrooms, broccoli rabe and caramelized garlic

Passionate About Seafood: “My family used to have a houseboat in Sag Harbor, New York, and we’d stay there for the summer and basically live off the land. We’d go fishing and clamming, and that taught me at a really young age how to eat good food. Now I bring my son out to Long Island and we do the same thing.”

Hooni Kim

Photo © Shannon Sturgis

Hooni Kim

Restaurant: Danji, Hanjan

Location: New York City

Why He's Amazing: Because he's cooking fantastic Korean food, gastropub style.

Background: Daniel, Masa (New York City)

Quintessential Dish: Spicy whelk salad with buckwheat noodles

Global Citizen: Born in Seoul, he moved to England when he was 3, then to New York City at age 10.

Kevin Pemoulié

Photo © Cathy Miller

Kevin Pemoulié

Restaurant: Thirty Acres

Location: Jersey City, NJ

Why He's Amazing: Because he's helping to make Jersey City a true restaurant destination with his innovative, farm-driven cooking.

Background: CraftBar, Momofuku Noodle Bar (New York City)

Quintessential Dish: Arctic char with brussels sprouts, chickpeas, beets and togarashi

First Food Industry Job: Pizza delivery boy

José Ramírez-Ruiz & Pamela Yung

Photo © Liz Barclay

José Ramírez-Ruiz & Pamela Yung

Restaurant: Semilla

Location: Brooklyn

Why They're Amazing: Because they’ve grown their wildly popular pop-up restaurant Chez José into a vegetable-forward spot where the food is smart, sophisticated and super-seasonal.

Background: Both: Isa (Brooklyn); Ramírez-Ruiz: Chef’s Table at Brooklyn Fare (Brooklyn), Per Se (New York City); Yung: Tailor, Room 4 Dessert (New York City)

Quintessential Dish: Cabbage sandwich: cabbage slaw with bottarga and oregano aioli sandwiched between duck fat-brushed dehydrated cabbage leaves

Study Abroad: Ramírez-Ruiz quit his job at Per Se so the couple could spend a year traveling through Europe together, working in the kitchens of prestigious restaurants such as El Celler de Can Roca in Girona, Spain; La Chassagnette in Arles, France; and In de Wulf in Dranouter, Belgium.

Ann Redding & Matt Danzer

Photo © Jason Rothenberg

Ann Redding & Matt Danzer

Restaurant: Uncle Boons

Location: New York City

Why They're Amazing: Because they're alumni of Per Se channeling their cooking chops into scrumptious Thai pub food.

Background: Both: Per Se (New York City); Danzer: Country (New York City); The French Laundry (Yountville, CA); Redding: La Esquina, Jewel Bako, Amuse (New York City)

Quintessential Dish: Yum kai hua pli (spicy roasted chicken and banana blossom salad)

The Name: Redding has an uncle named Boon who would take her and Danzer on day-long bar-food-and-beer excursions in Thailand. "My family just goes nuts there. We drive to lunch and leave lunch to go [for a] second lunch, and have a snack on the way to second lunch."

Bryce Shuman

Photo © Francesco Tonelli

Bryce Shuman

Restaurant: Betony

Location: New York City

Why He's Amazing: Because his cooking is exquisite but exceptionally flavorful. For example: seared foie gras with kale, ham broth, smoked pork hocks and pickled black garlic.

Background: Eleven Madison Park (New York City); Rubicon, Postrio (San Francisco)

Quintessential Dish: Grilled short rib with romaine

Learning Through Eating: When Shuman was a child, his mother, a cultural anthropologist, took him to the Arctic to live with the Inuits for 13 months. While there, he ate frozen caribou (thinly sliced) and chunks of fresh seal meat. "It opened my world up." Other memories from his travels with mom: a man on a bus in Costa Rica smashing an orange in his hands and sticking a straw in it; learning to make tzatziki in Crete.

Fabian von Hauske & Jeremiah Stone
People's Best New Chef Winner

Photo © Charles Roussel

Fabian von Hauske & Jeremiah Stone

Restaurant: Contra

Location: New York City

Why They're Amazing: Because the two young chefs are showing New York City something new, modern and understated: a nightly five-course tasting menu that varies depending on their mood and foregoes an excess of salt, sugar or spice in favor of showing off their greenmarket ingredients.

Background: von Hauske: Noma (Copenhagen), Attica (Melbourne); Stone: Isa (Brooklyn), Rino (Paris)

Quintessential Dish: Lightly smoked swordfish with horseradish cream sauce, fresh peas and fennel

Dessert for Dinner: For staff meals, von Hauske likes to serve dessert. “I don’t like keeping things in the freezer for too long, so every Saturday night, I’ll take every single leftover from the week and will turn it into a Sunday Staff Sundae. Recently we had a toasted buckwheat mousse with yogurt sorbet and grains covered in chocolate and caramel and a custard with pistachios. We mixed it all together and made this humongous delicious thing.”

Jonathan Wu

Photo © Michael Tulipan

Jonathan Wu

Restaurant: Fung Tu

Location: New York City

Why He's Amazing: Because he’s helping to rebrand Chinese-American cooking by amping up traditional recipes with unexpected flavors: For his take on the old-school Chinatown dim sum parlor Nom Wah’s egg roll, he opts for a filling of cumin-and-coriander-spiced pork belly and Picholine and Niçoise olives marinated with pickled Thai bird chiles.

Background: Per Se, Geisha (New York City)

Quintessential Dish: Soy-poached dates stuffed with shredded duck meat

On the Origins of the Date Dish: “I have relatives from Shanghai who grew up pre-Cultural Revolution. I used to ask them about what they ate growing up, and they described a dish with black Chinese dates [jujubes] that are smoked and stuffed with red bean paste, coated with egg wash and fried. It sounded so intriguing and unusual, so I knew that I would riff on that concept.”

The Dish
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