Carolyn Johnson

Restaurant: 80 Thoreau (Read a review)

Location: Concord, MA

Why She's Amazing: Because her French-inspired, farm-driven cooking is simple yet extraordinarily delicious.

Culinary School: Self-taught

background: Icarus (/sites/default/files/oston), Arrows Restaurant (Ogunquit, ME), Rialto (Cambridge, MA)

Quintessential Dish: Saffron tagliatelle with braised local rabbit, peppers and sweet and sour sultanas

How She Learned To Cook: "Definitely through on-the-job training and personal research. I read a lot, especially comprehensive technique books."

What She Does When She Isn't Cooking: Travels, hikes, brews beer

College Major: Economics, at Wellesley College (Massachusetts)

Cooking with the Seasons: For two to three weeks in August, Johnson features a corn-and-tomatoes tasting menu that includes dishes like chilled corn custard with tomatoes and parmesan tuile. For dessert: warm corn pudding with blueberries, lemon verbena ice cream and caramel popcorn.