Michael Doyle

Restaurant: Maurepas Foods (Read a review)

Location: New Orleans

Why He's Amazing: Because he's redefining modern Southern cooking with audacious dishes such as butternut squash with snails, pickled peanuts and spiced whiskey butter.

Culinary School: Self-taught

background: Dante's Kitchen (/sites/default/files/ew Orleans)

Quintessential Dish: Pimentón sausage sandwich with squid, romesco sauce, mustard greens and aioli

Where He Discovered He Was Good at Cooking: Working in the dining halls at the University of Colorado, where he studied English.

Local Produce: Maurepas Foods has its own herb garden, and works with nearby farmers and suppliers.

What Distinguishes Him from Other Chefs: "If we're talking about making fish with butter sauce and crabmeat on top, there's 750 other guys in this town who can do that as well or better than I can. But if you're talking about putting a bunch of pickles all over the brussels sprouts, I'm pretty much your guy."