Best New Chef All-Stars 2013
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Nancy Oakes has an innate understanding of what San Franciscans like to eat, creating big, appealing flavors using French technique, California ingredients and American style. Oakes got her start cooking at a commune, becoming a Best New Chef at Boulevard in the early '90s—a time when female chefs were transforming the food scene in the Bay Area (her peers include Judy Rodgers). Oakes's food still seems fresh and modern, as in a recent dish of ahi tuna tartare with cashew-piquillo hummus and pickled kumquats—sophisticated comfort food from a beloved chef.