Joseph Wrede

Why Because he uses local organic foods in surprising, sensual ways.

Born Phoenix, AZ,1966.

Education Peter Kump's New York Cooking School in Manhattan.

Experience Highlands Garden Cafe and Aubergine Cafe in Denver.

Early food memory Snails and 7-Up at The Maisonette in Cincinnati, age 6.

Why he wanted to be a chef "There were a lot of restaurants in our neighborhood. I remember walking down a street in summertime, hearing noise and plates and silverware, and people talking and laughing, and thinking, That's where I want to be."

What's hanging outside his restaurant Copper pots inherited from his father. "I like to listen to them clanging against the building."

Favorite cookbook Richard Olney's Simple French Food. "I read it the way you would read 'The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock.'"

A famous regular Dennis Hopper.

What he'd be if he weren't a chef A poet.

Won Best New Chef at: Joseph's Table, Taos, NM