Angel Palacios

Why Because he's bringing Spanish avant-garde ideas to America with daring combinations that would scare off most other chefs. Palacios calls it "author cuisine." For example, he says, "I'll make arepas (South American corn cakes) with polenta and cream cheese, or I'll caramelize artichokes and turn them into lollipops."

Born Barcelona, 1975.

Education Escola Joviat, Manresa, Spain.

Experience La Broche, Madrid; El Bulli, Rosas, Spain.

Favorite childhood dish Pan con chocolate. "It's basically bread and chocolate. I once made a dessert based on that. I topped sautéed bread with chocolate frappé, chocolate ice cream and chocolate candy."

Menu teaser "I start guests off with a welcome cocktail, a mix of unexpected ingredients like kiwi juice, bourbon and passion fruit foam."

Local inspiration Pascal's on Ponce in Coral Gables, Florida (owned by F&W Best New Chef 1995 Pascal Oudin). "I'm always impressed with the flavors, textures, wine—it's all perfect."

Restaurant at the time of award La Broche, 1155 Brickell Bay Dr., Miami, FL 33131