1998 America's Best New Chefs | Rene Michelena
La Bettola, Boston
Background: Born in the Philippines. Trained at The Culinary School of Kendall College, Evanston, IL. Worked at Charlie Trotter's, Chicago; Sign of the Dove, New York City.
How he got into cooking: "I was working at a restaurant to pay for my medical school bills when I realized I just couldn't look at paramecia for 10 more years."
Favorite food city: New York. "I gained lots of weight working there."
Weirdest food he's ever eaten: Boiled duck embryos, a Philippine delicacy.
Most tired trend: Seared tuna. "I won't even eat tuna sushi anymore."
Recipe tip: To make sure oil is hot enough to fry potato slices, drop one in--bubbles should form around it.
Info: 480 Columbus Ave.; 617-236-5252.