Inside F&W's Best New Chefs 25th Anniversary Alumni dinner, plus brief interviews with celebrated past winners.
[MUSIC] Hi. I'm Jackie Tranchida here at Pebble Beach Food and Wine. Food & Wine celebrates the nation's best new chefs, which are shaping our epicurean world and this year marks the 25th anniversary of this coveted title. And we're bringing you inside Food & Wine Magazine's Best New Chefs Alumni Dinner and meeting some of those celebrated alumni chefs who not only earned the title, but continue to push culinary boundaries with their work. What does it mean to be a best new chef? Well, when the best new chefs are chosen, they've been in charge of their kitchen for fewer than five years. Our editors give them Him the award because they're cooking creatively, innovatively, and obviously, the food has to be delicious and frankly, perfect. The chefs that you've selected over the past 25 years, they're exceptional. They are exceptional and once you get to know them, you realize they're all very different. But the one thing they absolutely share is they do have attention to detail. A lot of them brought their own ingredients. - the ingredients on the plane because, they don't want to risk Fedexing it and that's what makes them so special. This is a corn and craft's soup which we did with a corn dusted butter, popcorn, a little truffle g/("crema/g"). It's about the history and all the iconic dishes of New Orleans Under this kind of branding and brewing instead of pastries. What do you think being a best new chef did for you at that time? For me, it's sold my restaurant out for a year and you know, got to go to Aspen and I remember tutoring a child gave us our award. There was a lot of cool stuff that happened during that year. It was magic. All the chefs that I look up to and grow idolizing are on that list and to be a part of it, it's just an honor It changes their lives, it changes their careers, you know, the quickest thing that happens is, people cannot get a reservation in a restaurant. And then they get to open other restaurants and they get all these other opportunities and it's a really big deal. [MUSIC] As a chef at your level, what are some of the details that you think are important to maintaining that high level of culinary excellence? Most important you have to be Sensitive to what's going on around you. You have to know what you're doing right. You have to know what you're doing wrong. And if you don't understand it, then you can't solve the problems when they come up. Continuing to refine your knife skills, continuing to cook everyday. I think you have to step outside your comfort zone and just try to learn new things all the time. Consistency. Is the main key for me. I believe very strongly. And if you do things, try to do them perfectly and the same every time, you get better at them. For me, the most important thing is when people eat at your restaurant or eat at events, that they know somebody's hands made this food. We constantly are trying to make mistakes so that way people know. It didn't come out of an assembly line or a factory but somebody made it with their hands. Every single year they find the most incredible chefs all over the country. And now we have this arsenal of more than 250 chefs that are doing so many things, people that had one restaurant and now they have 10. They have TV shows, they have cookbook deals. So it's just created this really exciting empire of chefs. [MUSIC]