Jeffrey Lizotte

Restaurant: ON20 (Read a review)

Location: Hartford, CT

Why He's Amazing: Because he's cooking exquisitely refined, European-influenced food on the 20th floor of an insurance company building in downtown Hartford.

Culinary School: Self-taught

background: La Bastide Saint-Antoine (/sites/default/files/rasse, France); La Tupina (Bordeaux); Le Bernardin, Danube (New York City); The Sweet Life Café (Oak Bluffs, MA)

Quintessential Dish: Jonah crab en croûte with crispy baguette, charred tomato mustard and tarragon salad

Education: BS in Hotel Administration, Cornell University (Ithaca, NY)

Biggest Influence: Jean-Pierre Xiradakis, owner of La Tupina. "[He taught me the] joie de vivre of French cuisine, all the beautiful things, what food means culturally, and respect for the product in France. It's obviously important to work with the best ingredients [but] I was meeting purveyors and hunters…. [It was] incredible."

What He Learned Touring Bordeaux's Wineries: That wines from small producers in lesser-known appellations are often just as good as grand crus but at a fraction of the cost.

Competitive Cooking: In 2012, Lizotte represented the US at the Trophée Passion in Paris, a five-hour-long competition during which he was required to cook savory dishes using a lamb saddle, lamb kidneys, carrots, bananas and zucchini, and a dessert incorporating beetroot, whole pineapples, chocolate and Grand Marnier.