A Selective Guide to America's Super Chefs

Besides talent, creativity and ambition, these stars share one more distinction: they're all former F&W best new chefs (and we spotted them way back when!). Here are their current home bases. Consider this the only restaurant guide you'll ever need.

ARIZONA

PARADISE VALLEY

Elements

Charles Wiley | 1994

Wiley complements stunning Paradise Valley views with lively and unpretentious dishes like artichoke and roasted garlic casserole and sake-cured salmon (5700 E. McDonald Rd.; 480-607-2300).

PHOENIX

Christopher's Fermier Brasserie

Christopher Gross | 1989

A veteran of Paris, London and L.A. kitchens, Gross offers wood-oven roasting and 100 wines by the glass (2584 E. Camelback Rd.; 602- 522-2344).

SCOTTSDALE

Mosaic

Deborah Knight | 2002

See America's Best New Chefs 2002 (10600 E. Jomax Rd.; 480-563-9600).

Restaurant Hapa

James McDevitt | 1999

"Pan-Asian contemporary" describes McDevitt's spare, appealing food, such as crisped sweetbreads with tamarind glaze (6204 N. Scottsdale Rd.; 480-998-8220).

Roaring Fork

Robert McGrath | 1988

Beef tenderloin "shellacked" with coffee-molasses is one of the playful dishes at McGrath's ranchlike home base (4800 N. Scottsdale Rd.; 480-947-0795).

CALIFORNIA

BERKELEY

Café Rouge

Marsha McBride | 1997

McBride favors hormone-free meats dry-aged or cured on site, plus Mediterranean grazing plates (1782 Fourth St.; 510-525-1440).

Chez Panisse

Kelsie Kerr | 1997

Kerr displays her talents as co-chef (with Christopher Lee) at Alice Waters' ur-California-cuisine mecca (1517 Shattuck Ave.; 510-548-5525).

BEVERLY HILLS

Matsuhisa

Nobu Matsuhisa | 1989

This is the amazingly modest first restaurant from the Japanese-fusion maestro the world knows as Nobu (129 N. La Cienega Blvd.; 310-659-9639).

Polo Lounge at Beverly Hills Hotel

Katsuo Sugiura | 1989

"Suki" Sugiura's revival of the glittering Rat Pack–era hangout puts an Asian edge on American standards (9641 Sunset Blvd.; 310-276-2251).

Spago Beverly Hills

Lee Hefter | 1998

Foie gras, sashimi, goulash--Hefter masters all at Wolfgang Puck's star-studded joint (176 N. Cañon Dr.; 310-385-0880).

LA JOLLA

George's at the Cove

Trey Foshee | 1998

Foshee serves superior seafood at this oceanside spot (1250 Prospect St.; 858-454-4244).

LOS ANGELES

Campanile

Mark Peel & Nancy Silverton | 1990

Peel's food continues to exemplify California's clean cuisine, here crowned by pastry chef Silverton's big, bold finishes (624 S. La Brea Ave.; 323-938-1447).

Jar

Suzanne Tracht | 2002

See America's Best New Chefs 2002 (8225 Beverly Blvd.; 323-655-6566).

Lucques

Suzanne Goin | 1999

In an adorable brick carriage house on a busy L.A. strip, Goin serves creative Cal-bistro dishes (8474 Melrose Ave.; 323-655-6277).

NEWPORT BEACH

Aubergine

Tim Goodell | 2000

A former florist's cottage houses Goodell's ever-evolving French-with-a-twist (508 29th St.; 949-723-4150).

PASADENA

Celestino

Celestino Drago | 1993

Drago serves dressed-up Italian peasant food: bresaola with grapefruit, squid-ink risotto, pumpkin tortelloni (141 S. Lake Ave.; 626-795-4006).

SAN FRANCISCO

Boulevard

Nancy Oakes | 1993

Big braises, grilled meats and wood-oven roasts are Oakes' megapopular signature dishes at this Belle Epoque institution (1 Mission St.; 415-543-6084).

Delfina

Craig Stoll | 2001

In a Mission District space full of dark wood, Stoll tweaks farmers' market produce into fuss-free Italian dishes (3621 18th St.; 415-552-4055).

Fifth Floor

Laurent Gras | 2002

See America's Best New Chefs 2002 (12 Fourth St.; 415-348-1555).

Fleur de Lys

Hubert Keller | 1988

Keller learned from such masters as Bocuse, Lenôtre and Vergé, and his pedigree is evident in his brilliant command of classical French cuisine (777 Sutter St.; 415-673-7779).

42 Degrees

Jim Moffat | 1996

The latitude--and attitude--of Provence is the inspiration behind Moffat's supper and jazz club (235 16th St.; 415-777-5558).

Fringale

Gerald Hirigoyen | 1994

Hirigoyen's pleasing Basque bistro offers pork tenderloin confit on the edge of the Tenderloin (570 Fourth St.; 415-543-0573).

Gary Danko

Gary Danko | 1989

Danko serves his signature French-American marvels in an unlikely location: Fisherman's Wharf (800 N. Point St.; 415-749-2060).

Home

Lance Dean Velasquez | 1996

Meat loaf Tuesday, cioppino Saturday, roast chicken every day: Velasquez dishes out homey cuisine in a glam room (2100 Market St.; 415-503-0333).

Jardinière

Traci Des Jardins | 1995

A brick, steel and black marble dining room makes a dramatic setting for Des Jardins' fresh Cal-French food (300 Grove St.; 415-861-5555).

Masa's

Ron Siegel | 1999

Siegel's sublime French-Japanese livens up a venerable, and newly modernized, parlor room (648 Bush St.; 415-989-7154).

Mecca

Mike Fennelly | 1993 A huge "industrial luxe" dining room serves as the stage for Fennelly's Asian-spiked American cuisine (2029 Market St.; 415-621-7000).

Merenda

Keith Luce | 1997

Luce takes most of his culinary cues from France at this intimate, red-walled restaurant (1809 Union St.; 415-346-7373).

Restaurant Elisabeth Daniel

Daniel Patterson | 1997

Patterson presents genteel French food with eclectic touches in an equally elegant room (550 Washington St.; 415-397-6129).

Rose Pistola

Reed Hearon | 1994

Northern Italian seafood con brio keeps Hearon's North Beach place going strong--and large, and loud (532 Columbus Ave.; 415-399-0499).

JiRaffe

Raphael Lunetta | 1997

In this bi-level, glass-fronted restaurant, Lunetta sends out fresh, inventive French dishes (502 Santa Monica Blvd.; 310-917-6671).

Melisse Restaurant

Josiah Citrin | 1997

A stark space decorated with light brocades is Citrin's backdrop for sparkling mod-French food (1104 Wilshire Blvd.; 310-395-0881).

ST. HELENA

Terra

Lissa Doumani & Hiro Sone | 1991

The husband-and-wife chef team have run their stone-walled Napa classic, serving globally inflected French and Italian food, for 14 years (1345 Railroad Ave.; 707-963-8931).

WOODSIDE

Village Pub

Mark Sullivan | 2002

See America's Best New Chefs 2002 (2967 Woodside Rd.; 650-851-9888).

YOUNTVILLE

The French Laundry

Thomas Keller | 1988

A supreme innovator, Napa superstar Keller still astonishes after eight years (6640 Washington St.; 707-944-2380).

COLORADO

ASPEN

Renaissance

Charles Dale | 1995

In this cozy space, Dale whips up creative dishes like coffee-seared ahi tuna with yam polenta and mole sauce (304 E. Hopkins Ave.; 888-311-2433).

CONNECTICUT

RIVERSIDE

Aux Délices

Debra Ponzek | 1989

Country French takeout, a catering service and a tiny clutch of tables form Ponzek's Greenwich-area domain (1075 E. Putnam Ave.; 203-698-1066).

FLORIDA

CORAL GABLES

Pascal's on Ponce

Pascal Oudin | 1995

Oudin's small, sweet slice of Paris doles out contemporary French comfort food, like his beloved lobster bisque (2611 Ponce De Leon Blvd.; 305-444-2024).

DELRAY BEACH

32 East

Nick Morfogen | 1996

Morfogen writes the menu daily, offering Mediterranean-American hybrids like hanger steak on roast-garlic polenta (32 E. Atlantic Ave.; 561-276-7868).

FT. LAUDERDALE

Mark's Las Olas

Mark Militello | 1990

Militello prepares vivacious Floridian inventions in a vast open-kitchen space with a grand terrace (1032 E. Las Olas Blvd.; 954-463-1000).

MIAMI

Baleen

Robin Haas | 1994

Imaginative seafood is Haas' style; try the Asian bouillabaisse in hot-and-sour broth (4 Grove Isle Dr.; 305-857-5007).

Chef Allen's

Allen Susser | 1991

Famed Caribbean-Latin-Euro fusionist Susser is still forging new paths after 16 years (19088 N.E. 29th Ave.; 305-935-2900).

Rumi

Larkin Selman | 1993

Selman is part of the Med-Caribbean cuisine team at this South Beach hot spot (330 Lincoln Rd.; 305-672-4353).

Wish

E. Michael Reidt | 2001

Reidt showcases his Brazilian-French food in jazzy, color-mad, Todd Oldham–designed rooms (801 Collins Ave.; 305-674-9474).

PALM BEACH

The Restaurant at the Four Seasons

Hubert Des Marais | 1993

Attention-getting dishes like guava-braised short ribs mark Des Marais' signature style at this upscale property (2800 S. Ocean Blvd.; 561-533-3750).

GEORGIA

ATHENS

Five & Ten

Hugh Acheson | 2002

See America's Best New Chefs 2002 (1653 S. Lumpkin St.; 706-546-7300).

ATLANTA

Bacchanalia

Anne Quatrano & Clifford Harrison | 1995

In a 1920s meatpacking plant with midtown skyline views, the chef duo turn out honest new-American food (1198 Howell Mill Rd.; 404-365-0410).

BUCKHEAD

Soto Japanese Restaurant

Sotohiro Kosugi | 1997

Locals line up for Kosugi's creative sushi and sashimi, which may contain, say, truffle vinegar (3330 Piedmont Rd.; 404-233-2005).

ILLINOIS

CHICAGO

Blackbird

Paul Kahan | 1999

Kahan does showy but soulful Euro-American food in a minimalist white bo--te (619 W. Randolph St.; 312-715-0708).

Everest

Jean Joho | 1989

A swanky room at mountaintop altitude makes a perfect match for Joho's haute, luxe French dishes (440 La Salle St.; 312-663-8920).

Frontera Grill and Topolobampo

Rick Bayless | 1988

Adjacent places, one fancy and one plain, serve Mexican-food ambassador Bayless' beautiful regional cuisine (445 N. Clark St.; 312-661-1434).

Kevin

Kevin Shikami | 1991

A relaxed, brick-walled space displays Shikami's refreshing Japanese-American hybrid cuisine, which goes easy on butter and cream (9 W. Hubbard St.; 312-595-0055).

NoMI

Sandro Gamba | 2001

Gamba cooks Asian-spiked French in a gorgeous, wood-rich room (800 N. Michigan Ave.; 312-239-4030).

Tru

Rick Tramonto & Gale Gand | 1994

A spacious white-on-white dining room sets off Tramonto's winsome presentations--such as caviar on a glass staircase--and Gand's divine sweets (676 N. St. Clair St.; 312-202-0001).

CHICAGO SUBURBS

Elaine

Ted Cizma | 2000

Three compact rooms in a house that dates back to the mid-nineteenth century are the setting for Cizma's robust new-American dishes (10 W. Jackson St., Naperville; 630-548-3100).

Gabriel's

Gabriel Viti | 1991

Viti's luxurious Italian-French food walks the line between traditional and inventive (310 Green Bay Rd., Highwood; 847-433-0031).

Le Français

Don Yamauchi | 1993

Yamauchi's creative cooking works a wide variety of international ingredients into French dishes, marking a splendid new era for a storied institution (269 S. Milwaukee Ave., Wheeling; 847-541-7470).

Trio

Grant Achatz | 2002

See America's Best New Chefs 2002 (1625 Hinman Ave., Evanston; 847-733-8746).

LOUISIANA

NEW ORLEANS

Bayona

Susan Spicer | 1989

For a dozen years, Spicer has interpreted cuisines from around the world in this color-blocked French Quarter cottage (430 Dauphine St.; 504-525-4455).

Brigtsen's

Frank Brigtsen | 1988

Brigtsen continues where his mentor, Paul Prudhomme, left off: Acadian classics, no pretensions (723 Dante St.; 504-861-7610).

Gamay Bistro & Bar

Greg Sonnier | 1994

Sonnier produces lusty Cajun-Creole dishes in this cool, calming room (320 Decatur St.; 504-299-8800).

Lilette

John Harris | 2002

See America's Best New Chefs 2002 (3637 Magazine St.; 504-895-1636).

Peristyle

Anne Kearney | 1998

Kearney turns out bold, fresh, Louisiana-tinged French food in a homey, welcoming space (1041 Dumaine St.; 504-593-9535).

Restaurant August

John Besh | 1999

Trend-conscious Euro with Creole touches makes Besh the chef with buzz (301 Tchoupitoulas St.; 504-299-9777).

MASSACHUSETTS

BOSTON

Hamersley's Bistro

Gordon Hamersley | 1988

Wooden beams and banquettes provide a mellow environment for Hamersley's vibrant comfort-food creations (553 Tremont St.; 617-423-2700).

Mantra

Thomas John | 2002

See America's Best New Chefs 2002 (52 Temple Pl.; 617-542-8111).

No. 9 Park

Barbara Lynch | 1996

Nostalgic, '40s-era decor frames Lynch's lovable country dishes from Italy and the south of France (9 Park St.; 617-742-9991).

Radius

Michael Schlow | 1996

Schlow presents his high-style French food in a spacious dining room painted in an earthy palette of olive green and burgundy (8 High St.; 617-426-1234).

CAMBRIDGE

Centro

Rene Michelena | 1998

Prepare to wait for a seat at this wee trattoria, where Michelena's genuine cucina rustica draws eager crowds--and reservations are only accepted for a limited number of tables (720 Massachusetts Ave.; 617-868-2405).

Metro

Amanda Lydon | 2000

In an enormous, retro-style brasserie complete with a zinc bar, Lydon serves classics like coq au vin and steak frites (1815 Massachusetts Ave.; 617-354-3727).

Rialto

Jody Adams | 1993

Adams' serious yet merry Spanish-Provençal-Tuscan cooking is complemented by sensual surroundings (Charles Hotel, 1 Bennett St.; 617-661-5050).

Salts

Steve Rosen | 1999

Honey-seared salmon or lobster pie may show up on Rosen's no-fuss menu in this sunshine-yellow room (798 Main St.; 617-876-8444).

CHARLESTOWN

Olives

Todd English | 1990

English's two signature chains, Figs and Olives, have grown so rapidly it's clear that his upscale pan-Euro food has a big following. This was his first branch (10 City Sq.; 617-242-1999).

WEST NEWTON

Lumière

Michael Leviton | 2000

Leviton's clear flavors and faultless French technique are enhanced by simple decor and diffused light (1293 Washington St.; 617-244-9199).

MICHIGAN

FARMINGTON HILLS

Tribute

Takashi Yagihashi | 2000

A muraled room is a theatrical stage for Yagihashi's Japanese-French food (31425 Orchard Lake Rd.; 248-848-9393).

MINNESOTA

BLOOMINGTON

Napa Valley Grille

Tim Anderson | 1991

Anderson works miracles with Cal-cuisine staples like heirloom vegetables and wild game, inside the world's biggest mall (220 W. Market, Mall of America; 952-858-9934).

STILLWATER

La Belle Vie

Tim McKee | 1997

Victorian decor meets a contemporary French menu from McKee, who's fond of his wood-fired oven (312 S. Main St.; 651-430-3545).

NEVADA

LAS VEGAS

Nectar

John Schenk | 1995

Schenk plates mammoth portions of raw-bar delicacies and addictive dishes, like fried green tomatoes, in this jolly blue lounge (Bellagio hotel, 3600 S. Las Vegas Blvd.; 702-693-7223).

Renoir

Alessandro Stratta | 1994

Modern-French whiz Stratta competes with four Renoirs and wins, thanks to his immense flavors (Mirage hotel, 3400 S. Las Vegas Blvd.; 702-791-7442).

NEW MEXICO

SANTA FE

Fuego

Kevin Graham | 1991

In a rustic dining room at a posh Santa Fe resort, Graham serves sophisticated, regionally inspired cuisine against a flamenco-guitar backdrop (La Posada Resort & Spa, 330 E. Palace Ave.; 505-954-9678).

TAOS

Joseph's Table

Joseph Wrede | 2000

Wrede conjures spirited flavors from all-local ingredients in a fresco-decorated space. Due to move later this year (4167 Paseo del Pueblo Sur; 505-751-4512).

NEW YORK

NEW YORK CITY

Annisa

Anita Lo | 2001

Lo scours the globe--Asia, the Middle East, Morocco--for inspiration and gets breathtaking results (13 Barrow St.; 212-741-6699).

Blue Hill

Michael Anthony & Dan Barber | 2002

See America's Best New Chefs 2002 (75 Washington Pl.; 212-539-1776).

Bouley

David Bouley | 1989

A master of modernized classical French, Bouley recently reopened this Tribeca destination, expanding the dining room into the former bakery space next door (120 W. Broadway; 212-964-2525).

Café Boulud

Andrew Carmellini | 2000 Carmellini offers vigorous, refined French cuisine at a restaurant owned by his mentor, Daniel Boulud (20 E. 76th St.; 212-772-2600).

Cello

Laurent Tourondel | 1998

Tourondel's exquisitely subtle seafood delicacies are presented in a patrician parlor (53 E. 77th St.; 212-517-1200).

Commune

Matthew Kenney | 1994

Kenney applies North African flavor combinations to New York contemporary dishes in this high-energy setting (12 E. 22nd St.; 212-777-2600).

Daniel

Daniel Boulud | 1988

Boulud is Gotham's preeminent master of French cuisine, and this plush, ornate salon provides a fitting frame for his decadent dishes (60 E. 65th St.; 212-288-0033).

Gramercy Tavern

Tom Colicchio | 1991

Colicchio's virtuosity with rustic American, French and Italian food makes this one of New York City's treasured territories (42 E. 20th St.; 212-477-0777).

Ouest

Tom Valenti | 1990

In an elegant bistro, Valenti thrills the Upper West Side (and the celebrities who live there) with hearty, impeccable dishes (2315 Broadway; 212-580-8700).

Picholine

Terrance Brennan | 1995

Brennan refreshes the French canon and serves the ultimate cheese board, in a romantic space near Lincoln Center (35 W. 64th St.; 212 724 8585).

Union Pacific

Rocco DiSpirito | 1999

Culinary pinup DiSpirito displays his passion for experimentation in a soaring room with a Zen ambience (111 E. 22nd St.; 212-995-8500).

Union Square Cafe

Dan Silverman | 1997 & Michael Romano | 1991

Silverman and Romano's generous Euro-American food, served in gallery-like rooms, keeps this 16-year-old restaurant at the top of New Yorkers' list (21 E. 16th St.; 212-243-4020).

Veritas

Scott Bryan | 1996

Bryan offers up his signature braises, roasts and grills in an urban-chic setting with stellar wines (43 E. 20th St.; 212-353-3700).

NORTH CAROLINA

DURHAM

Magnolia Grill

Ben Barker | 1993

Barker draws constant crowds with his imaginative Southern-inspired bistro food and relaxed, wood-floored space (1002 Ninth St.; 919-286-3609).

OHIO

CLEVELAND

Lola

Michael Symon | 1998

A somewhat sci-fi dining room displays Symon's exuberant multi-culti cooking (900 Literary Rd.; 216-771-5652).

PENNSYLVANIA

PHILADELPHIA

Avenue B

Francesco Martorella | 1990

At this pretheater favorite with a daily-changing menu, Martorella's attention to detail is evident in dishes like a napoleon of roasted red peppers and a veal rib chop Milanese (260 S. Broad St.; 215-790-0705).

Jack's Firehouse

Jack McDavid | 1991

McDavid's "haute country" cuisine--pea and hog jowl soup, for instance--livens up a nineteenth-century fire station (2130 Fairmount Ave.; 215-232-9000).

¡Pasión!

Guillermo Pernot | 1998

Pernot does fanciful, bountiful Nuevo Latino at this one-stop churrascaria and seviche bar (211 S. 15th St.; 215-875-9895).

Red Chopstix

Bruce Lim | 1990

Lim's Euro-Asian menu marries the best of both continents, as in his venison scaloppine with baby bok choy (1511 Locust St.; 215-546-0600).

Susanna Foo

Susanna Foo | 1989

It's Chinese food, but not as we know it. Nobody can tinker with a wonton like Foo can (1512 Walnut St.; 215-545-2666).

Vetri

Marc Vetri | 1999

Exquisite balance is Vetri's hallmark at his 10-table labor of love…for Italy (1312 Spruce St.; 215-732-3478).

RHODE ISLAND

PROVIDENCE

Al Forno

Johanne Killeen & George Germon | 1988

The essential destination for paper-thin pizzas. Killeen and Germon's kingdom has grown, but it hasn't spread too thin (577 S. Main St.; 401-273-9767).

Empire

Loren Falsone & Eric Moshier | 2000

Falsone and Moshier's daily menus celebrate southern Italy in a renovated 1912 mock-Renaissance car showroom (123 Empire St.; 401-621-7911).

TENNESSEE

MEMPHIS

Chez Philippe

José Gutierrez | 1990

Amid faux Louis XIV splendor, Gutierrez merges the American South with southern France (Peabody Hotel, 149 Union Ave.; 901-529-4188).

TEXAS

HOUSTON

Américas

Michael Cordua | 1994

An energetic, perpetually packed dining room decorated with Inca motifs makes a striking background for Nicaraguan Cordua's fascinating Latin ideas--quail tacos! (1800 Post Oak Blvd.; 713-961-1492).

Boulevard Bistrot

Monica Pope | 1996

Crowds flock to this laid-back bistro to sample Pope's Moroccan–Middle Eastern flourishes (4319 Montrose Blvd.; 713-524-6922).

SAN ANTONIO

Biga

Bruce Auden | 1988

Auden does big American food with a distinctive Mex-Asian accent in this Texan hacienda (203 S. St. Marys St.; 210-225-0722).

VIRGINIA

McLEAN

Maestro

Fabio Trabocchi | 2002

See America's Best New Chefs 2002 (Ritz-Carlton Tysons Corner, 1700 Tysons Blvd.; 703-821-1515).

RICHMOND

Acacia

Dale Reitzer | 1999

Reitzer elevates his cosmopolitan dishes with sprightly sauces--orange-cumin, lime-ginger--in a casual terra-cotta-floored place named after his big dog (3325 W. Cary St.; 804-354-6060).

WASHINGTON

SEATTLE

Brasa

Tamara Murphy | 1994

Murphy's innovative cuisine can best be described as the Northwest meets Iberia (2107 Third Ave.; 206-728-4220).

Earth & Ocean

Johnathan Sundstrom | 2001

Sundstrom isn't afraid to serve ultratrendy dishes like wild boar ravioli at his headquarters inside the W Hotel, where he attracts an enthusiastic following (1112 Fourth Ave.; 206-264-6060).

727 Pine

Danielle Custer | 1998

Round-the-world culinary influences, cheeky ideas (such as a three-course steak menu) and ingenious combinations distinguish Custer's cooking at this glam destination (727 Pine St.; 206-774-6400).

WASHINGTON, D.C.

Galileo da Roberto Donna

Roberto Donna | 1990

A one-man industry, Piedmont-born Donna plies Washingtonians with delicious Northern Italian dishes done every which way (1110 21st St. NW; 202-293-7191).

Palena

Frank Ruta | 2001

Former White House chef Ruta, who cooked for both Republican and Democratic presidents, dresses up Italian peasant food for Beltway connoisseurs (3529 Connecticut Ave. NW; 202-537-9250).

--Research by Jessica Blatt

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