Why He's Amazing: In one of the country's most exciting new restaurant cities, he has revitalized a local standby with exceptional Italian-accented dishes. His remarkable baking program includes a tasting of meat, seafood and vegetable breads: dry-aged beef brioche, squid-ink sponge bread and sour rye bread with dehydrated beets.
Quintessential Dish: Roast lamb with charred eggplant and olive crumble.
Culinary School: The Culinary Institute of America, Hyde Park, NY.
Restaurant CV: Torrisi Italian Specialties, Casa Lever, La Fonda del Sol, Del Posto, New York City.
First Job in a Kitchen: At age 14, he was hired as a dishwasher in Mossyrock, Washington, where he grew up.
Equipment He Wishes Someone Would Invent: A vacuum to suck up the ashes at his new grill restaurant, a.kitchen. "We have this new charcoal grill, but the ash suffocates the coals. I want a vacuum that will handle 1,000-degree ash. I wish there was a grill sensei: Someone who could design a grill that's exactly right for you and has solutions for all your grill problems," he says.
Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.