Why He's Amazing: Because he's cooking earthy, elegant, avant-garde food (both savory and sweet) to go with rare, adventurous craft brews.
Culinary School: Vancouver Community College; Camosun Community College (Victoria, BC)
Background: Momofuku Culinary Lab (New York City), Noma (Copenhagen), The Fat Duck (Bray, England), St. John (London)
Quintessential Dish: The five-course tasting menu. (It's the only option, and the menu changes regularly; one dish might be Mangalitsa pork neck with scrapple, salt-and-pepper-pickled cucumbers and millet, cranberry beans and lima beans.)
Born and Reared: Halifax, Nova Scotia
Before He Discovered Cooking: "My original plan was to be a mathematics professor."
The Beer Curator: Burns met Danish brewer Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergsø at an event in Brooklyn for Evil Twin, Jarnit-Bjergsø's brewing company, and they quickly began planning to collaborate. "It was serendipitous," says Burns. "You can never plan when things come up, but this all happened in about a week."
His Sweet Side: For three years, Burns was the head pastry chef at Copenhagen's lauded restaurant Noma. One of his creations, called the Snowman, was made of vinegar meringue, carrot sorbet, sea buckthorn mousse and yogurt snow.
How He Works: "I print out instructions [for recipes], but by the end of the day it looks like a crazy person's art notes. Everything has to be questioned on a daily basis, even dishes that you're really confident and happy with. Criticism is a good thing, always."
Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.