At Food & Wine,chefs are the superstars. They do more than feed us: they dazzle us with their creativity and inspire us with their dedication. We pride ourselves on our relationships with them, particularly the men and women we honor with our annual Best New Chefs awards, sponsored this year by Audi. The selection process starts when we ask food professionals nationwide to nominate brilliant new chefs who have been in charge of a kitchen in the United States for no more than five years. After winnowing the list of contenders to several dozen, the F&W staff travels all over the country on an eating marathon. This year, four of our winners came from places where we'd never found Best New Chefs before: Cleveland, Las Vegas, Honolulu and Sundance, Utah. We take that as proof that the demand for great food is spreading to every corner of the country, and chefs like the 10 here are answering the call.

    By Kate Krader and Monica F. Forrestall