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)
Quintessential Dish: Braised beef short ribs with gnocchi, bacon, green beans and onion rings
Former Career: Writer: "Short stories, novels, plays, lots of fiction."
How He Got into the Food Industry: "There wasn't any kind of light switch. I gradually became interested in food. My first job was in a gourmet food store/café/coffee bar and we did lunches. I was introduced to that shop because I bought ingredients there. I had a dream of opening [my own] simple little restaurant, and the dream never went away."
Secret Indulgence: "Kettle Chips. The plain ones in the brown wrapper."
Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.