18 Recipes From the Food & Wine Best New Chefs Class of 2018
Provençal Fish Stew
In coastal Provence, cooks use the freshest seafood for this stew, which is enriched at the last minute with a creamy aioli. This recipe comes from San Francisco chef Mark Sullivan, who staged at a restaurant in Marseilles when he was in his twenties; the experience influences his cooking to this day.
In this perfect, elegant snack from Best New Chef Julia Sullivan at Nashville’s Henrietta Red, a fresh herb vinaigrette cuts through sour cream topped with briny paddlefish roe. Sullivan based this dish on one her father used to make.
Crudités and Fermented Soybean Dip
Napa Valley produce inspires much of Katianna Hong’s cooking at The Charter Oak. For this seasonally adaptable dish, she keeps it simple, pairing just-picked vegetables with a thick, tangy soy dip. This dip is the perfect way to show off whatever fresh vegetables you can get your hands on. You can find soybean paste and fermented soybeans in syrup at Korean markets or online.
Steak and Eggs
Ever wonder how a Japanese steakhouse, a Southern greasy spoon, and a Vietnamese breakfast spot might play on a single plate? At Himitsu in Washington, D.C., Best New Chef Kevin Tien’s Steak and Eggs revision makes it work. A dozen fried quail eggs are a rich and playful pairing for seared steak. Nuoc cham—the Vietnamese power chord of lime, chiles, and fish sauce—dresses crunchy greens. Letting mushrooms and kombu soak in soy sauce for 24 hours yields a deeply savory sauce—a drizzle of it cranks up the steak’s umami.
Grilled Chicken with Grapes
Best New Chef Katianna Hong, of The Charter Oak in St. Helena, California, works with nearby vineyards to get some of the components of this grilled chicken dish, made with fresh grapes, raisins, house-preserved grape leaves, and verjus. Dried grapes plump up in tart verjus—a vinegar alternative made using the juice of “green,” or unripe, grapes. Her buttermilk brine for the chicken is genius, to boot.
At Freedman’s in Los Angeles, Best New Chef Liz Johnson does a compelling dance with the deli canon. Her Half-Sour Salad is a shining example of how she reimagines deli classics: In it, a tangle of lightly fermented Kirby cucumbers tangoes with creamy avocado, green goddess dressing, and loads of fresh herbs. This salad uses homemade half-sour pickles, which are easy to make but take time. You can substitute store-bought—look for them in the refrigerated section of the grocery store. The everything-spice furikake is worth making; it’ll be your new go-to condiment.
At Freedman’s in Los Angeles, Best New Chef Liz Johnson treats tradition like a suggestion, an approach that frees her up to finesse old ideas while still tugging at nostalgic heartstrings. It all might be best expressed in her version of a black-and-white cookie, a vanilla-sugar number that is soft and tender where the OG version is dry and cakey, with glossy ganache and egg-white frosting where a purist might have settled for fondant. With one bite it resolves every broken promise of every black-and-white that came before it, reminding us that in the hands of a true technician, relics have plenty of fight left in them. The total time for these sweet, tender cookies includes an overnight wait that allows them to soften to the perfect texture.
Burst Cherry Tomatoes and Pancetta
Best New Chef Michael Gallina of Vicia in St. Louis has a way with vegetables, and this time of year tomatoes are his muse. His Burst Cherry Tomatoes and Pancetta is a simple sauté that brings everything to the table: sweet acidity from the tomatoes; a salty, savory chew from the pancetta; and aromatics from the garlic and onion. The pancetta seasons the mixture, which begs to be served over ricotta toast. You can also try the combo tossed with pasta.
Tomato and Watermelon Bites
At Vicia in St. Louis, Best New Chef Michael Gallina closes the loop in his cooking. This elegant amuse-bouche showcases Gallina’s zero-waste approach: Tomato skins are dried to become an umami-rich flavored salt; the tomato seeds and pulp, plus the brine of pickled green tomatoes, become the base of the Tomato Water Gazpacho.
Tomato Water Gazpacho
At Vicia in St. Louis, Best New Chef Michael Gallina closes the loop in his cooking. This refreshing gazpacho highlights Gallina’s zero-waste approach: The base of it is built on the tomato seeds and pulp, plus the brine of pickled green tomatoes, from an elegant amuse-bouche of Tomato and Watermelon Bites. The total time for this recipe includes straining the gazpacho in the refrigerator overnight, which yields a clear but deeply flavorful broth.
Steak Tartare with Smoked Oyster Aioli
For her Steak Tartare with Smoked Oyster Aioli, Best New Chef Kate Williams, of Lady of the House in Detroit, uses tender beef scraps rescued from butchering rib eyes. Dark green leek tops, often discarded, become the base of her punchy gremolata. The smoked oyster aioli adds muscle and brightness, and it’s easy to make (it takes about a minute in a blender). Tartare calls for the best-quality meat; you’ll eat it raw, so go for the good stuff—rib eye or flatiron is a nice way to go. To get a perfectly diced steak for tartare, freeze the beef until it is just firm, about 15 minutes, before slicing.
Steamed Fish with Soy Broth
At Kato in Los Angeles, Best New Chef Jonathan Yao’s modern takes on Taiwanese dishes include this delicate Steamed Fish with Soy Broth, which balances aromatics like ginger and scallion with the seafood’s mellow sweetness. Yao finishes the delicate steamed fish with a pour of hot oil, which gently cooks the scallion garnish, releasing its aroma. While you’ll only need a couple of teaspoons of the Fortified Soy Sauce, we loved having it around to enrich marinades and noodle dishes. The electric-green ginger-and-scallion oil improves everything it touches, from salad dressings to cold noodles.
Thick corn soup is a Taiwanese lunch-box staple; at Kato in Los Angeles, Best New Chef Jonathan Yao also borrows from congees and egg drops for his luxe rendition, which surrounds a brilliant yellow, oil-poached egg yolk. A riff on Taiwanese corn soup, Yao’s Corn Potage soothes with its deep flavor and silky-smooth texture.
Garlic Sausage with Field Peas
At Henrietta Red in Nashville, Best New Chef Julia Sullivan combines locally sourced ingredients—like sausage from Nashville butcher Porter Road—with house-preserved items. This Garlic Sausage with Field Peas brings it all together. Field peas are a close cousin of the black-eyed pea and can be found fresh or frozen at most supermarkets.
“Espaghetti” with Poblano Cream and Crab
At Mi Tocaya Antojería in Chicago, Best New Chef Diana Dávila’s “Espaghetti” with Poblano Cream and Crab sums up the essence of her cooking. It’s based on a dish her mom used to make, with broken and fried noodles. Dávila turns it up to 11 with sweet crabmeat, crunchy shaved cauliflower, and an oozy egg. The poblano cream sauce stays super-green thanks to the addition of fresh spinach and cilantro.
Barley Crêpes with Cabbage and Sauce Pierre
At Canlis in Seattle, Best New Chef Brady Williams balances classic components with modern techniques. For his Barley Crêpes with Cabbage and Sauce Pierre, Williams envelops grilled fermented cabbage in a savory buckwheat crêpe, accompanied by rich sauce Pierre. The cabbage in this barley crêpe calls for naturally fermented Japanese ayu fish sauce. Sweeter and milder than the Vietnamese version; ayu fish sauce is available at well-stocked Asian grocery stores and at tokyocentral.com. You can order the shio koji and black vinegar in this recipe at amazon.com.