Nancy Oakes

Won Best New Chef at: L'Avenue, San Francisco
For this fabulous seafood risotto, Oakes folds in Dungeness crab, which is abundant in the Bay Area, but the dish is delicious with any fresh local crab. If oyster mushrooms aren’t available, try other varieties, like clamshell, lobster or abalone mushrooms—all are excellent with shellfish. Slideshow:  More Seafood RecipesRecipe from Food & Wine Best New Chefs All-Star Cookbook 
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Oakes makes this gorgeous risotto with Venere black rice, a naturally black short-grain rice. The glossy grains are especially striking served with the golden butternut squash puree and creamy white burrata. Slideshow:  Rice Pilaf Recipes Recipe from Food & Wine Best New Chefs All-Star Cookbook 
Nancy Oakes lost more than 20 pounds, in part by eating two to three appetizers instead of one large entrée. To satiate cravings, she picks foods high in heatlhy monosaturated fat, like avocados. Plus, she says, "I brush my teeth a lot because nothing tastes good afterward." Terrific Green Salads
This salad from Nancy Oakes is both hearty and light, combining big flavors (beets, arugula, goat cheese) in a bracing lemon dressing. Slideshow: Summer Salads