A pastry chef who merges European technique with an American sensibility.
F&W editor in chief Dana Cowin, a cookie connoisseur, declares that these double-chocolate ones created by Belinda Leong of San Francisco’s b.patisserie, are the most delicious she’s ever had. They’re like crispy-chewy brownies in cookie form.
A classically trained chef refining the funky flavors of Southeast Asia.
Bok choy is usually stir-fried, but Bryant Ng char-grills it at Los Angeles’ The Spice Table until it’s smoky, tops it with deeply savory braised shiitake, then drizzles the dish with a ginger-scented oyster sauce.
Super-inventive Mexican food from a cutting-edge modernist chef.
When he makes this stunning salad at New York City’s Empellón Cocina and Taqueria, Alex Stupak roasts baby carrots with mole poblano, a complex sauce that includes dried chiles, raisins and chocolate. Here, the carrots are roasted simply with smoky chipotles in adobo.
Hungarian food reinterpreted with West Coast ingredients and a Japanese outlook.
These caramelized brussels sprouts are a popular fall and winter dish at San Francisco’s Bar Tartine. Nicolaus Balla tosses them in a sweet-tart dressing with cilantro, mint and chiles— flavors that evoke Southeast Asia. The caraway connects the dish to Eastern Europe.
A chef-restaurateur couple with an open-minded take on California cuisine.
Nico Monday and Amelia O’Reilly say they summoned their “inner Moroccan” to spice this vegetarian dish with cumin, coriander and mustard seeds. They serve the baked eggplant at Gloucester, MA’s The Market Restaurant, both as a first course and as a main with couscous, chickpeas and charmoula (a punchy, cilantro-based Moroccan sauce).
Easy, fresh comfort food from a chef groupie turned food-world star.
Vidalia onion soufflé was a fixture at Thanksgiving and Christmas meals when Sarah Simmons, founder of NYC’s City Grit was growing up in Fayetteville, North Carolina. This version—lighter and airier than the one her mother makes—can be prepared in individual gratin dishes or in one big baking dish. Feel free to use any sweet onion you can get, such as Vidalia, Walla Walla or Oso Sweet.
Brings bright, Mediterranean flavors to his daring, pork-centric dishes.
Braising pork in milk, a method that Jimmy Bannos, Jr., of Chicago’s The Purple Pig learned while cooking in Florence, results in super-tender meat and an incredibly rich and flavorful gravy. Although the dish is rooted in Tuscan tradition, Bannos adds an American comfort-food spin by serving it with mashed potatoes.
Ambitious, bold-flavored dishes inspired by the chef’s Israeli heritage.
Michael Solomonov of Philadelphia’s Zahav makes his salmon incredibly tasty by marinating it in charmoula, a tangy, cilantro-based Moroccan sauce. For the side, he treats Israeli couscous like risotto, simmering the pearl-shaped grains in a tomato sauce until they become rich and creamy.