Thomas Boemer

Restaurant: Corner Table (Read a review)

Location: Minneapolis

Why He's Amazing: Because he combines European techniques, Low-Country influences and prime Midwestern ingredients in clever ways.

Culinary School: Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts (Mendota Heights, MN)

background: Hotel Sofitel, 20.21 (/sites/default/files/inneapolis); Mandalay Bay, Mix (Las Vegas)

Quintessential Dish: Pork belly with braised cabbage, apple puree and pickled watermelon rind

Previous Career: Custom cabinet and furniture maker

Hog Crazy: Boemer uses Red Wattle and Berkshire hogs from southern Minnesota, going through a whole animal every two weeks.

Heartland Pride: "I feel like the Midwest has a lot to contribute to the food culture as a whole. I've worked in the opulence of a Michelin-level restaurant. But the Midwest approach is very simple: [It's] 'I don't need all that.' There's a Midwestern way that things are done, and that doesn't have to mean steak and crappy burgers."