Why he won Because he has brought incredible sophistication to some of the universe's simplest dishes.
Born Arlington, Virginia; 1977.
Experience Mercer Kitchen, Craft and Café Boulud, all in New York City; Fuyu-Rin and Park Hyatt hotel in Tokyo.
Boldest career move Working as a reservationist at Craft. "I wanted a job there so badly, I answered phones for over a month. After Craft got its third star, I went to work in their kitchen full-time. I felt like I'd hit the lottery."
Ingredient obsession Pork fat. "There's pork fat in just about everything at Momofuku."
What he loves most about his menu "I love that we use crazy small farmers. I'll do anything I can to promote pork guys in Kansas. We found Allan Benton, who does smoked country hams in Madisonville, Tennessee."
Favorite cheap eat "Any fast-food processed chicken—I'll order it in a heartbeat. But I'm very picky about my pork."
Won Best New Chef at: Momofuku Noodle Bar, New York City