Why he won Because his superlative modern Californian menu owes as much to his garden as to his mastery of avant-garde cooking techniques.
Born 1976 Raised Highland Park, IL
Experience Georges at the Cove, La Jolla, CA; Chez Georges, Paris; La Terrasse, Côte d’Azur; Elisabeth Daniel and Campton Place, San Francisco.
Equipment obsession“I’m using my combi oven [an oven that also steams and poaches food] more than ever. I use it for steaming things like squid omelets and slow-cooked eggs.”
Childhood food memory “I used to go fishing with my dad in Ontario, Canada, with a Native American guide. We’d bring a bag of cornmeal, a skillet and some lard, and we’d fry up the fish. It was the greatest thing in the world.”
Fantasy restaurant An old-school Jewish deli with local, house-made ingredients. “I’d stage at Katz’s in New York City for a few months.”
Favorite cookbook Thomas Keller’s The French Laundry Cookbook. “All my cooks say it made them want to be chefs.”