For anyone wondering how to be an F&W Best New Chef, here's the answer: Cook food that's personal, creative and delicious. Head up a kitchen for no more than five years. Be prepared for editors to visit, anonymously. And keep your eyes on the prize: One of this year's winners, Nate Appleman, still has a copy of the 1998 Best New Chefs story that inspired him.

1. Naomi Pomeroy

Beast * Portland, OR

Smoky Tomato Soup with Maple-Candied Bacon

2. Vinny Dotolo & Jon Shook

Animal * Los Angeles

Fried Chicken Liver, Bacon and Tomato Salad

3. Christopher Kostow

Meadowood Napa Valley * St. Helena, CA

Curried-Shrimp Salad with Grilled Watermelon

4. Kelly English

Restaurant Iris * Memphis

5. Nate Appleman

A16 and SPQR * San Francisco

Pinzimonio with Tonnato Sauce

6. Mark Fuller

Spring Hill * Seattle

Grilled Flank Steak with Corn, Tomato and Asparagus Salad

7. Bryan Caswell

Reef * Houston

Grouper with Corn "Pudding" and Collard Greens

8. Linton Hopkins

9. Paul Liebrandt

Corton * New York City

Beet–and–Red Sorrel Salad with Pistachio

10. Barry Maiden

Hungry Mother * Cambridge, MA

Blueberry-Almond Shortcakes with Crème Fraîche

More Incredible Recipes by Best New Chefs:

Greek Grilled Scallop Sandwiches
Credit: © Anna Williams
Garden Pea Soup with Morel Cream
Credit: © Anna Williams
Smoked Salmon Crisps
Thomas Keller's salmon cornets (tuiles shaped into tiny cones and topped with crème fraîche and fresh salmon) are a famous kickoff to his luxe and whimsical meals. The original recipe appears in The French Laundry Cookbook. Shaping the tuiles into cones is tricky and involves working very quickly with a cornet mold. Instead, leave the tuiles flat, like crackers, and top them.
By Kate Krader and Ratha Tep