The founders of Dō cookie dough shop and Salt & Straw both made the list, as did a chef from The Dutch.
Zagat has released its first-ever 30 under 30 list of “culinary industry superstars.” For six years, Zagat has run a 30 under 30 program, honoring industry leaders, from chefs to sommeliers and restaurant owners, in city-specific lists, from Dallas to Boston to Seattle. This is the first time that the restaurant guide has picked the top 30 honorees that make up a comprehensive national list.
Zagat began searching for honorees back in January when it asked Zagat users to nominate their favorite figures in the industry. From there, Zagat editorial experts narrowed down the list to 60 semifinalists in March, then a list of 45 finalists in June, until they revealed the top 30 picks today.
The list includes trend setters here in New York City, like Kristen Tomlan, the founder and CEO of Dō, the edible cookie dough shop in Greenwich Village, and up-and-coming standouts Malik Ali, the sous chef at The Ugly Duckling. And the list doesn’t limit itself to big city institutions either: Tyler Malek, the head ice cream maker at Salt & Straw, which is based in Portland but now sold at popular lunch spots like Danny Meyer’s Daily Provisions, is featured here, too. Malek’s creations include smoked-ham soft serve and ancho chile ice cream-filled Choco Tacos. Carlie Steiner, the co-owner of the sushi restaurant Himitsu, whose chef, Kevin Tien, was a semi-finalist for a James Beard rising star award this year, also made the list.
Zagat certainly doesn’t neglect the dessert equation of fine-dining: The founder of Mr. Holmes Bakehouse, Aaron Caddel, is among the honorees, as are two other pastry chefs. On the beverage side of the industry, Hannah Grossman, the sommelier at Monteverde Restaurant & Pastificio, a 2016 Food & Wine Restaurant of the Year, also made the list, and the beverage director at Staplehouse, another semi-finalist for a James Beard award this year, Melissa Davis, were both featured.
Here is the full Zagat 30 Under 30 list:
Malik Ali – Sous Chef, The Ugly Duckling (Philadelphia, age 26)
George Azar – Chef/Owner, Flowers of Vietnam (Detroit, age 28)
Teddy Bricker – Chef/Owner, Soursop (Austin, age 29)
Aaron Caddel – Founder, Mr. Holmes Bakehouse (Los Angeles, age 25)
Melissa Davis – Assistant General Manager & Beverage Director, Staplehouse (Atlanta, age 29)
Stefani De Palma – Chef de Cuisine, Addison (San Diego, age 28)
Melissa Denmark – Executive Pastry Chef, Gracie's, Ellie's Bakery (Providence, age 28)
Nick Dugan – Chef de Cuisine, Bellecour (Minneapolis, age 29)
Hannah Grossman – Beverage Manager/Sommelier, Monteverde Restaurant & Pastificio (Chicago, age 28)
Mitch Hagney – CEO, LocalSprout (San Antonio, age 26)
Becca Hegarty – Chef/Owner, Bitter Ends Luncheonette (Pittsburgh, age 27)
Jesse Ito – Chef/Owner, Royal Izakaya (Philadelphia, age 28)
Brian Lavin – Executive Chef/Partner, Gnocco (Baltimore, age 29)
Irene Li – Co-Founder, Mei Mei Restaurant & Street Kitchen (Boston, age 27)
Maya Lovelace – Chef/Owner, Mae (Portland, age 29)
Tyler Malek – Head Ice Cream Maker & Co-Founder, Salt and Straw, Wiz Bang Bar (Portland, age 29)
Natasha McIrvin – Director of Creative Projects, Make it Nice (NYC, age 27)
Caitlin McMillan – Sous Chef, Goldie (Philadelphia, age 28)
Andrew Olsen – Bar Manager, Bluestem (Kansas City, age 29)
Allie Poindexter – Owner/GM/Sommelier, Henrietta Red (Nashville, age 29)
Bobby Pradachith – Co-Chef/Owner, Thip Khao, Padaek (Washington DC, age 24)
Chris Requena – Chef de Cuisine, Wexler's Deli (Los Angeles, age 27)
Julian Rodarte – Executive Chef and Co-Owner, Beto & Son at Trinity Groves (Dallas, age 24)
Ashley Shelton – Executive Chef, Pastaria, Sardella (St. Louis, age 28)
Carlie Steiner – Co-Owner/Beverage Director, Himitsu (Washington DC, age 26)
Kristen Tomlan – Founder & CEO, Dō, Cookie Dough Confections (NYC, age 29)
Brandon Paul Weaver – Roaster/Owner, Foreigner Coffee, Liberty Bar (Seattle, age 29)
Spencer White – Chef/Owner, Dio Mio Handmade Pasta (Denver, age 29)
William Wright – Executive Chef, Helen Greek Food & Wine (Houston, age 29)
Hannah Ziskin – Pastry Chef, Nopa (San Francisco, age 29)