By Kate Krader and Monica F. Forrestall
July 01, 1999

Each year, when FOOD & WINE travels from state to state in search of the country's most talented culinary newcomers, we leave our preconceptions at home. The 10 winners of our Best New Chefs in America award, culled from hundreds of nominations from our nationwide network of food experts, might turn up anywhere: this year we found one in a Phoenix mall, another in a New Orleans suburb. All we ask is that they've been in charge of a kitchen for at least one year but not more than five. Oh, there is one more thing: they've got to be brilliant, thrilling, original cooks. And they are.

John Besh Artesia, Abita Springs, Louisiana
Rocco DiSpirito Union Pacific, New York City
Suzanne Goin Lucques, Los Angeles
Paul Kahan Blackbird, Chicago
James Mazzio 15 Degrees, Boulder, Colorado
James McDevitt Hapa, Scottsdale, Arizona
Dale Reitzer Acacia, Richmond, Virginia
Steve Rosen Salts, Cambridge, Massachusetts
Ron Siegel Charles Nob Hill, San Francisco
Marc Vetri Vetri, Philadelphia