Greg Denton

Chef Greg Denton
Photo © Drew Tyson

Restaurant: Ox (Read a review)

Location: Portland, OR

Why He's Amazing: Because he and his co-chef Gabrielle Quiñónez Denton are giving true credence to the term "grill masters" at their Argentine-inspired modern steakhouse.

Culinary School: Coursework at Paul Smith's College (Paul Smiths, NY); the Culinary Institute of America (Hyde Park, NY)

background: Terra (/sites/default/files/t. Helena), Metrovino (Portland, OR); Externship at Central Intelligence Agency (Langley, VA); Bouchon (Yountville, CA), Mala Ocean Tavern (Lahaina, HI)

Quintessential Dish: Beef skirt steak with chimichurri

How He Got into Cooking Professionally: His dad was the manager of a family-style restaurant (which Greg describes as "like Friendly's") called Lums in Rutland, Vermont. Greg started helping out there at age nine.

What Makes that Steak So Good: A trough at the bottom of Ox's huge wood-fired grill catches the meat drippings. The chefs add lemon, onion, garlic and herbs to the drippings and use the mix to baste their steaks as they cook.

Insider Tip: While waiting for a table at Ox, customers can pass the time at the Whey Bar, the Dentons' cocktail-focused spot adjacent to the restaurant.