Sandro Gamba

Why Because his French culinary credentials are the best around, but he's not afraid to serve sushi, too.

Born 1970, St. Avold, France.

Education A traditional restaurant apprenticeship in his hometown.

Experience Le Moulin de Mougins, Provence, France; Le Jamin, Paris; Louis XV, Monte Carlo; Lespinasse, Washington, DC.

First food memory Croissants from his father's pastry shop.

One culinary inspiration His grandmother, who ran a renowned bistro in the town of Neufchâteau. "She made the best mashed potatoes you can have in your life."

What Alain Ducasse taught him "How to give flavor to an ingredient and how to manage 50 people."

What Joel Robuchon taught him "Respect, discipline and how to use salt and pepper."

Favorite local snack Barbecued ribs. "Every small restaurant here does them, and they're very, very good."

About his recipe The restaurant that preceded NoMI in the Park Hyatt was famous for bagel chips and salmon, so Gamba put the chips into Peeky Toe Crab Napoleon, his best-selling lunch dish.

Won Best New Chef at: NoMI, Chicago