Brett Cooper

Restaurant: Outerlands (Read a review)

Location: San Francisco

Why He's Amazing: Because he transformed a humble soup-and-bread spot with his high-end cooking skills and dedication to sustainable ingredients, and people are lining up.

Culinary School: California Culinary Academy (San Francisco)

background: Saison, Coi, Rubicon (/sites/default/files/an Francisco)

Quintessential Dish: Sunchoke vichyssoise with nettles and preserved lemon

First Restaurant Job: Lunch cook at a northern Italian restaurant in Grand Junction, Colorado, when he was 17. "I actually had a great beginning there, learning how to hand-make pasta."

On Working with Stuart Brioza at Rubicon: "He taught me how to taste food, how to talk about food, how to think about food. When I'm old, I'll still probably say that was the best culinary experience of my life."

Outerlands' POV: "We want to be somewhere that you can come, have a bowl of soup and leave and say, 'Oh, that was a good soup,' and not think about it again. But also somewhere that you can come in with a group of people and try everything and just nerd out on what techniques and seasonings we use."