Gabriel Kreuther

Why Because while he calls his food "modern French, with clean, bright flavors", we call it elegant and slightly subversive.

Born Niederschaeffolsheim, Alsace, France, 1969.

Education École Hôtelière in Strasbourg, France.

Experience Jean Georges, New York City; L'Ermitage de Bernard Ravet, Vufflens-le-Château, Switzerland.

Why he became a chef "From the age of six, I was always bothering my mother to teach me to cook. When I got older, I spent summers working in my uncle's restaurant."

Most popular item on his menu Croustillant. "It's squab with sautéed foie gras in the center, wrapped in cabbage, then wrapped in a thin pastry. It's almost like a spring roll."

Ingredient obsession The herb hyssop. "The taste is somewhere between anise and mint."

Favorite cheap eat The pastrami sandwich at Manhattan's Carnegie Deli. "The first time you see it, you're scared. That's a lot of pastrami."

Won Best New Chef at: Atelier, New York City (closed)