Justin Beckett

Justin Beckett
271.59
SOCIAL SCORE

Facebook: @BeckettsTable

Instagram: @BeckettsTable

Most chefs start their culinary career in some kitchen capacity- sous chef, line cook, or something along those lines. But Justin Beckett started from the very bottom rung: as a dishwasher in Maui. With his lifelong passion for cooking, Justin has established himself as one of America’s premier chefs and has helped bring fine dining in Arizona to new levels.

Justin’s passion for cooking has also instilled in him an obsession with creating new dishes and evoking new flavors in his meals. As Justin puts it, “The best part of my job is playing with food. Coming up with new dishes is always exciting…I love seeing the guests in the restaurant; it’s like throwing a dinner party every night.” With this attitude towards cooking, it should come as no surprise that the idea for Justin’s restaurant, Beckett’s Table, was born when Justin and his wife Michelle were eating dinner with friends, sommeliers Katie and Scott Stephens. Their love for family-style meals and the fun of bonding over a good meal and good wine led them to open Beckett’s Table in 2010, and since then, Beckett’s Table earned the 2015 “Wine Spectator” award. Not to be outdone, Justin has also been nominated for the “Best New Chef” award by Food & Wine magazine.

Top Dishes

Grits & Sausage - 100% delicious. #beckettstable #eatlocalaz #cometogether

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Short ribs are how we do the weekend. #beckettstable

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You and BT. Dinner and scallops. #beckettstable

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Specialties & Resources

The menu at Beckett’s Table attempts to capture the convivial atmosphere that comes when friends share a table, a delicious meal, and a great bottle of wine to go with it. The menu is contemporary American and focuses largely on making the best out of simpler dishes. The starter offerings include creamy grits and sausage with mustard jus; wood oven roasted Brussels sprouts with bacon and lemon basil vinaigrette; chilled beets with crispy leek rings, cucumber, garlic potato puree, black pepper honey and micro herbs; feta with grilled lemon, smoked onions, green olives, roasted garlic and toast.

The entrees are equally unadorned and delicious. Some of the items include short ribs with creamy mashed potatoes, sautéed vegetables and a red onion demi-glace; cast-iron petite chicken with bacon biscuit stuffing and chicken jus; pan-seared sea scallops with green beans, potatoes, spinach, chorizo, almond, and crème fraiche; pork osso buco confit with roasted poblano pepper spaetzli, onion, corn and chorizo; green chili pork stew with cotija cheese, cilantro and corn tortilla; and pork chop with stone ground polenta cake, bacon-onion-tomato saute, and bourbon peach glaze.

Roy Choi

283.61
SOCIAL SCORE

While most of the chefs on this list built their reputations on their brick-and-mortar establishments, Roy Choi is a unique case in that you don’t need to make reservations to feast on his creations; if you’re lucky enough, they’ll come to you. His gourmet Korean taco truck Kogi took its first ride in 2008, first on Abbot Kinney Boulevard in Venice before taking Los Angeles (and the U.S.) by storm.

Named one of the top 10 “Best New Chefs” by Food and Wine magazine in 2010 (the first food truck operator to earn a place on that list), Roy has capitalized on his success by bringing his unique take on Mexican and Korean cuisine to the masses.

When he’s not rolling around in his Kogi truck, Roy has served as the technical advisor to Jon Favreau on the movie “Chef” and volunteers at South Central’s A Place Called Home, where he teaches underprivileged students how to cook. Roy has also published a part-memoir, part-cookbook called “L.A. Son: My Life, My City, My Food,” blending his memories as a child growing up in Los Angeles in the 1970s with the dishes that have allowed him to give back so much to his community.

Top Dishes

Also two Halloween special Foldies all October. #LocoL #Watts #Oakland

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Food's never been better. So proud of my crew.

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Look what I cooked for lunch today :) #LASon

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Specialties & Resources

The father of the food truck movement, Roy’s guiding principle has been to create “food that isn’t fancy,” but don’t let that motto fool you: his food is as much a delight as any of the more complex dishes created by the other chefs on this list.

Aside from Kogi, Roy also runs two Los Angeles-based restaurants: Chego!, which features Mexican-inspired rice bowls, and Sunny Spot, a Caribbean-inspired restaurant located in a former IHOP building that incorporates Hawaiian culture and tradition. Roy’s cooking style blends Mexican and Korean flavors and dishes, embracing two of Los Angeles’ biggest immigrant cultures and combining them into one well-rounded and delicious fusion. Evidence of this is best demonstrated by Kogi’s menu, which includes tofu tacos, spam sliders, kimchee quesadillas and short rib burritos.

At Chego!, Roy is able to expand his offerings beyond what you can eat standing up. Items include the piña krackalada (sweet coconut rice with caramelized pineapple and puffed rice), chicken adobo (wok-seared chicken with rice, vinegar, garlic soy sauce, grilled onions, chiles and pinoy-love), and the Pacman bowl (wok-seared chicken, double-caramelized short rib and spicy pork with rice, cheddar and jack cheeses, mayo, fresh herbs and chiles).

 

Mary Sue Milliken

Mary Sue Milliken
263.48
SOCIAL SCORE

Very few chefs have the longevity and sustained level of success as Mary Sue Milliken, so it should come as no surprise that she’s earned herself a place on this list. After graduating from the Washburne Culinary Institute in Chicago, Mary Sue worked in kitchens in Chicago and Paris with her eventual collaborator Susan Feniger. Combining their prodigious talents, Mary Sue and Susan opened City Café in Los Angeles in 1981, and in 1985 they opened Border Grill. Finally, in 1998, Mary Sue and Susan opened Ciudad in Los Angeles, and the success of the properties has led some to claim that Mary Sue and Susan are singlehandedly responsible for the evolution of the Los Angeles restaurant scene.

In addition to her continued success in the kitchen, Mary Sue is also an accomplished cookbook author and TV personality. Mary Sue has published five cookbooks outlining her expertise of Mexican cuisine, and her long-running Food Network shows “Too Hot Tamales” and “Tamales World Tour made her a household name. Mary Sue also appeared on TV with the legendary Julia Child on her show “Cooking with Master Chefs” in 1993, and most recently, Mary Sue appeared on “Top Chef Masters” in 2011, where she placed second in the competition.

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Specialties & Resources

Mary Sue’s bread and butter, as it were, is Mexican cuisine. And although that may lead you to believe she is just another of the long line of chefs to embrace this culinary style, the fact that she has had such continued success is a testament to her abilities.

At Border Grill, menu items include plantain empanadas with organic black beans, poblano, aged cotija, crema and red salsa; brisket taquitos with spicy slaw, guacamole, salsa fresca and crema; quinoa fritters with aged cotija cheese and aji Amarillo aioli; Peruvian ceviche with aji amarillo, ginger, lime, cucumber, avocado and crispy plantains; Yucatan pork slow-roasted in banana leaves and served with honey lime yams, roasted brussels sprouts and pineapple jicama salsa; wild mushroom quesadilla with huitlacoche, dried crushed peppers, roasted garlic and epazote; carnitas with roasted corn grits, serrano chile salsa, red onion, jalapeno bacon and cilantro; grilled turkey with cracked black pepper sauce, honey lime yams and seared greens; lamb barbacoa tacos with jalapeno mint salsa, queso fresco and avocado; creamy potato and chile tacos with Mexican cheese, guacamole, grilled corn relish and chipotle crema; short rib enchiladas with Mexican cheeses, roasted tomato guajillo sauce, lime-cured onions and crema; and pan-seared seasonal fish with organic white rice, tomato, Kalamata olive, jalapeno, oregano and a white wine garlic broth.

Jenn Louis

Jenn Louis
263.76
SOCIAL SCORE

Facebook: @chefjennlouis

Instagram: @jennlouis

Jenn Louis could be described as “your favorite chef’s favorite chef.” Though she may not have the public profile or as many television appearances under her belt as some of her compatriots on this list, Jenn has built a strong reputation for creating irreverent dishes that reflect her free-spirited approach to cooking and life.

A graduate of Pitzer College in Claremont, California, Jenn traveled throughout Europe and the Americas after matriculating, and her travels led her to Southern Israel where she worked in a dairy kibbutz. Upon returning to the United States, Jenn took a job as a cook at an Outward Bound base camp in North Carolina, and it was here that she uncovered her desire to make cooking her life’s work. Jenn enrolled in the Western Culinary Institute of Portland and, upon completing her formal education, began working as a line cook at Portland’s famous Wildwood restaurant.

Eventually, Jenn opened two restaurants of her own: Lincoln and Sunshine Tavern, and the success of both landed her profiles in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Food & Wine magazine (where she was named one of their “Best New Chefs” in 2012), and Bon Appetit magazine. Jenn also parlayed her success into an appearance on Bravo’s “Top Chef Masters,” and she was a semifinalist for James Beard Foundation awards in 2010 and 2011 for “Best Chef: Northwest.”

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Specialties & Resources

At Sunshine Tavern, Jenn’s latest endeavor, the focus is on simple dishes created with unexpected ingredients, and the result is a culinary experience that sets itself apart from that of many other chefs on this list. Offerings include duck egg sandwich with pimento cheese and spicy pickle; jambon beurre royale with swiss, giardiniera and Dijon; Cuban sandwich with ham, swiss and spicy pickle; perciatelli with tomato and garlic toast; corn dog with cabbage slaw, giardiniera and brown mustard; and baked eggs with tomato and garlic toast.

At Lincoln, the menu is a bit more expansive, drawing on Jenn’s vast culinary talents. Menu items include octopus a la plancha with lentils and giardiniera, cornmeal onion rings with pimenton aioli; grilled dates and marcona almonds with lime and sea salt; baked hen eggs with cream, castelvetrano olives and breadcrumbs; lumache pasta with asparagus butter, preserved lemon and oregano; bucatini with herb pesto, lardo and almonds; spaccatelli with smoked tallow, speck and sherry; semolina cavatelli with chicken ragu, prosciutto and celery; Oregon albacore with green beans, peaches, marcona almonds and tarragon; roasted chicken with shoestring potatoes and little gem romaine; and zucchini, green beans and beets with tarbais beans and hazelnut.

Brooke Williamson

Brooke Williamson
263.98
SOCIAL SCORE

Facebook: @Williamson.Brooke

Instagram: @chefbrookew

When children decide on a career path, they’re typically not taken seriously; if they were, we would have more astronauts and firemen than we’d know what to do with. But not only has Brooke Williamson never wavered from her chosen childhood profession, she has also experienced massive success in pursuit of it. Brooke began her career as a teacher’s assistant at the Epicurean Institute of Los Angeles, then continued her education at the age of 18 working as a pastry assistant at Fenix at the Argyle Hotel.

Following a stint at Michael’s in Santa Monica, Brooke moved to the East Coast to work with another of our top-rated chefs, Daniel Boulud, at his eponymous restaurant in New York as an intern. Returning to L.A., Brooke was named executive chef at Boxer, then at Zax in Brentwood; it was during this time that she began to receive the critical acclaim she deserved, including nods from the Los Angeles Times and Forbes as a chef to watch. Brooke was also invited to cook at the James Beard house (the youngest female chef ever to receive such an invite), and she parlayed her success into multiple properties: Amuse Café and Beechwood in Venice, Hudson House, and The Tripel in Playa Del Rey.

Brooke was the runner-up on season 10 of “Top Chef,” and she was featured on MTV’s first food-related series “House of Food.” 

Top Dishes

🐙🐙🐙 @dakikokiko

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#lomilomi

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Yuzu kosho salmon on grain blend... 🍙🍙🍙 #musubidayeveryday @dakikokiko

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A few of the kid's favorite things for dinner... "Extra masago and fish cake please" #obviously

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Specialties & Resources

Brooke has embraced the California ethos of using locally-sourced and seasonal ingredients in her dishes, and her restaurants have seen a sustained run of critical and commercial acclaim as a result. At her most recent endeavor, The Tripel, Brooke has embraced a Modern American style of cooking.

Offerings at The Tripel include chicken sausage with seeded mustard; shaved prosciutto di parma; grilled shrimp chimichurri; sweet potato tots with horseradish honey mustard and spiced aioli; balsamic-marinated onion rings; lamb burger with honey-yogurt harissa sauce, cucumber salad and shaved red onion; turkey pastrami melt with cambozola blue-brie, house pickled and stout mustard; croquet madame with gruyere, black-forest ham and fried egg; the “Tripel Burger” (duck confit, pork & aged beef with truffle pecorino, arugula, and house apricot jam); squid-ink spaghetti with ground shrimp, lemon, chili oil and bottarga; black rice paella with duck, chicken, clams, snail, corn, peppers, serrano aioli and English peas; braised pork cheeks with roasted peewee potatoes, snap peas and “other spring things”; steamed mussels & clams in a serrano-pesto broth with cashews & grilled country bread; chicken waterzooi with heirloom carrots, leeks, kale, potato latke, fenugreek and gremolata; sweet carrot farro with sweet & sour eggplant, truffle pecorino, kale and leeks; and heirloom carrot salad with pea tendrils, crispy sunchokes, mozzarella pearls and green goddess dressing.

Jon Shook

Jon Shook
264.45
SOCIAL SCORE

Jon Shook is often credited with changing the culinary scene in Los Angeles, so his place on this list should come as no surprise. Jon met his partner Vinny Dotolo while attending culinary school at The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale. After graduation, the two continued their professional journey together, first at The Strand in South Beach, then at Mark’s, The River House, and Wildflower Restaurant in Vail, CO. After a short stint as Harrison Ford’s personal chefs, Jon and Vinny launched the catering company Caramelized Productions in 2004.

In 2008, Jon and Vinny decided to open a place where, for once, they could choose the menu. Animal, their “meat-centric, farmer’s market-driven restaurant,” opened in 2008, and in 2009, Jon and Vinny received Food & Wine magazine’s “Best New Chefs Award”; in addition, Animal was nominated for a “Best New Restaurant” award by the James Beard Foundation.

In addition to his work with Vinny, Jon is also the co-owner of Trois Mec, Petit Trois and Trois Familia with another chef on this list, Ludo Lefebvre. If a chef’s talent can be measured by the company he keeps, Jon has it in spades.

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Specialties & Resources

As a caterer, Jon demonstrated a unique ability to cook anything his guests could want, making him one of the more versatile chefs on this list. At Animal, the focus is more on the “whole-animal” ethic embraced by another chef on our list, Chris Cosentino. Jon has utilized his experiences in other kitchens to create a menu that is at once conceptually daring and traditional. At Animal, offerings include spicy beef tendon chip with charred onion pho dip; veal brains with vadouvan, apricot puree and carrot; rabbit larb with minutina, herbs, thai chili and crispy shallot; Mongolian sweetbreads with shiitake mushrooms, scallion and kochukaru; and bone-in ribeye with bone marrow butter and potato aligot.

No chef survives long without displaying a willingness to adapt their cooking style to incorporate other styles, and Jon’s dedication to honing his craft and expanding his range has served him well in his pursuits. At Trois Familia, offerings include churro French toast with salt & straw vanilla ice cream and Mexican chocolate; beet tartare tostada with cornichon, lime and avocado crema; and the Galette crepe with egg, chorizo and jack cheese.

Joshua Skenes

Joshua Skenes
265.77
SOCIAL SCORE

Facebook: @SAISON

Instagram: @saisonsf

Not many chefs could get away with serving a tasting menu that costs over $1,000 after tax and tip for two people. Then again, not many chefs are as accomplished as Joshua Skenes. Named a “Rising Star Chef” in 2010 by The San Francisco Chronicle and as a “Rising Star” by StarChefs.com, Joshua has certainly earned a place on this list.

While studying at the French Culinary Institute in New York, Joshua also held a full-time position in the kitchen of Jean-Georges Vongerichten, pulling the kind of double duty that very few chefs could manage. Upon graduation, Joshua moved to Boston, where he helped open Troquet and worked with Anthony Ambrose at Ambrosia. With significant experience under his belt, Joshua moved out to San Francisco in 2003 to work as the executive chef at Chez TJ, where he received three and a half stars from The San Francisco Chronicle. After a brief stint working with Michael Mina, Joshua opened Saison. Saison began as a pop-up concept in which, like many other California chefs, Joshua focused on only local ingredients to create dishes that also doubled as immersive experiences. Eventually, Saison moved to a five-nights-a-week operation, and Joshua serves a different tasting menu every day. 

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Specialties & Resources

Joshua’s lifelong passion for the culinary arts shines through in his dishes, and the care and attention he shows each and every meal make the finished product all the more rewarding. With just 8 tables in his space, Joshua endeavors to provide an intimate and exclusive setting in which guests can enjoy his creations.

Past offerings have included white sturgeon caviar over cured and smoked sturgeon belly, served over kelp and a gelée made of the grilled sturgeon bones; coal-kissed sea bream with monkfish liver and a fried cherry blossom leaf; pickled horse mackerel served over rye toast; kelp-cured golden-eye snapper; roasted abalone with a liver-and-caper sauce; Fort Bragg sea urchin with river vegetables, wild fennel and soy, served over sour Tartine bread; cured grated Japanese mountain yam and cultured vegetables topped with golden trout roe; poached and grilled asparagus served with green garlic; Dungeness crab with sea greens, seaweed vinegar and crab shell gelée; scallop-stuffed artichoke heart with wild thistle barigoule; poached celeriac with herbs and spicy broth; white asparagus with foam and perigord truffle sauce; black-truffle “cookie” with chicken liver, grilled pecan honey and pecan powder; and dry-aged beef grilled in a bed of hay and served with fire-hung and rehydrated carrots.

Akira Back

Akira Back
265.81
SOCIAL SCORE

Before he began his culinary career, Akira Back had quite a different calling: professional snowboarding. Akira began his snowboarding career at the age of 15, continuing until he was 22 and appearing in snowboarding videos and magazines along the way. After he decided to get off the slopes for good, Akira attended the International Culinary School at The Art Institute of Colorado, and in 1993, he got his first job as a sushi prep cook at Kenichi in Aspen, Colorado. As a result of his hard work and success, Akira was later brought to Kenichi in Austin, Texas, then served as the opening chef at Kenichi in Kona, Hawaii.

Akira’s dedication to his craft and success did not go unnoticed, and in 2008, he opened his own restaurant: Yellowtail Japanese Restaurant & Lounge at the Bellagio Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. Focused primarily on classic Japanese ingredients, Akira put a new and inventive spin on his dishes that earned him a fair amount of recognition. Akira was named a “Rising Star” by Restaurant Hospitality magazine in 2008, hosted the James Beard House dinners in 2008, 2010, 2011 and 2012, and was named “Best Chef in Las Vegas” by Las Vegas Weekly. In addition to his critical success, Akira has also appeared on “Iron Chef America,” “The Today Show,” Food Network’s “The Best Thing I Ever Ate,” and “United Tastes of America.” 

Top Dishes

Friday Lunch Inspiration! #AkiraBackJakarta Gyu Don repost @jtungaldy: "SoooGood 👌🏻" Thank you for coming and sharing

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Specialties & Resources

At Yellowtail, Akira blends traditional Japanese ingredients with the inventive, exotic twists that have garnered him so much attention and acclaim. Drawing on his unique background and culinary experience, Akira has put together a menu that has made Yellowtail one of the most sought-after restaurants in Las Vegas.

In addition to a series of unique specialty rolls and an extensive sushi selection, offerings include tataki salad with yellowtail, big eye tuna and salmon; spinach oshitashi with red beet and tosazu vinaigrette; seaweed salad with wakame, hiyashi-wakame and sesame; miso soup with tofu and wakame seaweed; big eye tuna pizza with micro shiso and truffle oil; lobster carpaccio with sweet shaved onion, cilantro and amazu ponzu; tuna tataki with kizami wasabi and mustard sumiso; salmon with serrano, cucumber and garlic citrus; kobe beef tataki with spicy daikon, garlic and sea salt; toro caviar with kochujang and microgreens; Korean red snapper with chojang and orange masago; seared foie gras with corn croquette and kochujang spiced honey; duck prosciutto with pickles and micro beet; seared diver scallops with orange relish and yuzu sake butter; and filet mignon toban with truffled black pepper sauce.

Maria Hines

Maria Hines
266.49
SOCIAL SCORE

Though organic cuisine is all the rage now, there was a time when chefs simply went for whatever ingredients were cheapest without much thought given to how those ingredients were sourced. Fortunately for us, Maria Hines has pioneered the organic food movement that’s so common in today’s kitchens. Based in Seattle, Maria was also a notable proponent of Washington Initiative 522, a proposed piece of legislation that would have required that genetically modified foods were labeled as such; unfortunately, the measure did not pass, but Maria’s commitment to good, honest food has earned her a place on this list.

Maria has appeared on “Iron Chef America,” “Top Chef Masters” and “Martha”; in addition to her television appearances, Maria has also been recognized twice by the James Beard Foundation, first winning “Best Chef: Northwest” in 2009, and as a semi-finalist for “Outstanding Chef” in 2013.  Maria is also the head of Maria Hines Restaurants, a restaurant consortium consisting of Tilth, Golden Beetle and Agrodolce, and each of her restaurants has made a steadfast commitment to using certified organic ingredients in its dishes. With someone like Maria leading the charge, pretty soon we’ll all be eating only the freshest, most natural ingredients.

Top Dishes

Red wheat spaghetti w/veggies @agrodolceseattle

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Dates so sweet they taste like butterscotch with spicy padron peppers @goldenbeetleseattle

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Shrimp fritters, anson mills corn meal, caper aioli, green onion @goldenbeetleseattle

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Crispy Pacific cod sandwich, French sorrel, red onion, avocado, remoulade

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Specialties & Resources

At Tilth, Maria’s focus is on New American cuisine, and though the ingredients may seem less complicated than those at some of the other restaurants we’ve covered, by using all-natural organic ingredients, Maria is able to draw out flavors that might otherwise lie dormant. Offerings at Tilth include smoked tuna pate with pickles, radishes and crackers; roasted celery root salad with mixed greens, hazelnut and maple-espresso vinaigrette; root vegetable soup with kale, pickled carrot and apple puree; green chickpea flan with roasted grape, lemon puree and fried chickpea; house-made gnocchi with arugula pistou, cherry tomato and pine nut; seared albacore tuna with charred romaine, egg, and anchovy vinaigrette; salmon a la plancha with corn cream, zucchini, and sorrel vinaigrette; and pork belly with roasted delicate, fennel and apple.

At Agrodolce, Maria focuses more on Italian cuisine, with dishes such as crispy polenta fries with spicy pepper aioli and grana Padano; ricotta cavatelli with grilled summer beans, olive and hot pepper tapenade and sweet onion; mafalde with wild mushroom and fennel ragu, oregano and cream; durum spaghetti & clams with castelvetrano olive, pickled chili and fresh mint, and red wheat rigatoni with marinara, peppers and grana Padano.

Matt Accarrino

Matt Accarrino
266.51
SOCIAL SCORE

Facebook: @MattAccarrino

Instagram: @mattaccarrino

Though his childhood dream of becoming a professional cyclist ended when he suffered a leg injury that required him to learn how to walk again, it’s a safe bet that Matt Accarrino probably doesn’t have many regrets. Following his injury, Matt discovered his passion for cooking, drawing on his Italian background and the technical training he received working in some of America’s top kitchens.

Matt has earned praise from numerous publications including Food & Wine magazine, Bon Appetit magazine, Saveur magazine, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The San Francisco Chronicle and SF magazine. Matt’s restaurant, SPQR (which stands for “Senatus Populusque Romanus,” a symbol of the Roman Empire) has received a Michelin star under his direction, and Matt himself has earned plenty of praise and attention. Matt was named a “2010 Rising Star” by StarChefs.com, and he is a four-time semifinalist for a James Beard Foundation award for “Best Chef: West.” Food & Wine magazine gave him the title of “People’s Best Chef California” in 2013, and he won their “Best New Chef” award in 2014.

In addition to his accomplishments inside the kitchen, Matt has also published book: “SPQR: Modern Italian Food and Wine,” which was released in 2012. And, proving that you can have it all, Matt is still an avid cyclist.

Top Dishes

duck egg in brioche with chanterelle mushrooms #teamaccarrino

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ricotta 'gnudi' #teamaccarrino

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king crab and quinoa with tomato vinaigrette #teamaccarrino

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tortellini in tomato "brodo", favas and basil. last bits of the summer garden. #teamaccarrino

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Specialties & Resources

Like many California chefs on this list, Matt is committed to using the best locally-sourced ingredients in his dishes, and the result is nothing short of astounding. Though his background is in traditional Italian fare, Matt’s experience working with some of the country’s best chefs has given him an arsenal of creative approaches to choose from when putting together his dishes.

At SPQR, offerings include chicken liver mousse with red wine pear marmellata and balsamic gelatin; butternut squash soup with fried gulf shrimp, tarragon and burgundy truffle; raddichio and poached apple with goat feta, chestnut, mulled red wine and challah crouton; arugula & frisee salad with pink grapefruit, honeyed bacon, pecans and blue cheese; sweet carrot & lentil salad with medjool dates and vadouvan curry cream; red trout and roe with green apples, maple, dates and celery root salad; octopus & kale sprout with panissa, chickpea, pistachio and preserved lemon; chestnut and garnet yam tortelli with verjus cherry, brown butter and sage; duck lasagna with brussels sprouts and pumpernickel; buckwheat tagliatelle with cider and bacon-braised suckling pork and spigarello; stuffed quail with garnet yam, chestnut, medjool dates, baby kale and quince saba; and sturgeon with okra, caramelized sunchoke and mustards.

Thomas McNaughton

Thomas McNaughton
266.57
SOCIAL SCORE

Facebook: @Thomas.McNaughton

Instagram: @ctmcnaughton

There is a growing desire among chefs to develop and maintain positive, mutually beneficial relationships with local farmers and food producers, and very few chefs embody the spirit of collaboration between farm and kitchen like Thomas McNaughton. Over the past 10 years, Thomas has made it his mission to establish close relationships with the local producers in the Bay Area, relationships that allow him full visibility into how the meat he serves is raised and prepared.

In addition to his efforts with local farmers, Thomas was nominated for the James Beard Foundation “Rising Star Chef of the Year” award in 2010, 2011 and 2013, and in 2011, Thomas was named by Forbes magazine as one of their “30 Under 30” most influential personalities in the culinary world. In addition, Thomas was named by Food & Wine magazine as one of their “10 Empire Builders”; that same year, Thomas was named by Food & Wine as one of their “American Icons at Every Age.”

Thomas’ three San Francisco restaurants (flour + water, central kitchen and salumeria) demonstrate his considerable talents in the fields of Italian cuisine and locally-sourced California cuisine, and the reviews he’s received at all of his properties have been overwhelmingly positive. 

Top Dishes

Pasta @centralkitchen #sungold #unibutter

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Pork for two @centralkitchen tonight.

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Rabbit mortadella with fermented plum and pistachio. @chefevanallumbaugh @flourandwatersf

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Eat more veggies @centralkitchen #menuonfire

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Specialties & Resources

Thomas enhanced his expertise of Italian cuisine while in Bologna, Italy, and his mastery of this arena shines through in the menus at flour + water and salumeria (which Thomas has described as “the larder of flour + water). At flour + water, offerings include little gem lettuces with cured anchovy, breakfast radish, corno de toro pepper & breadcrumbs; fried duck rillettes with roasted cauliflower, pickled Romanesco & fermented spigarello relish; gargati with braised collard greens, pancetta & hen cracklins; cocoa chitarra with brown butter-braised giblets, kabocha squash & walnut; slow-baked halibut with turnip, black trumpet mushrooms & castelfranco; leg of lamb with prosecco-braised cabbage & sai sai; and mixed roast of pork with kabocha squash, hen of the woods mushrooms & salsa verde.

At central kitchen, Thomas focuses almost exclusively on California cuisine, making the most of locally-sourced ingredients. Offerings include raw halibut with calamansi citrus, ginger, avocado and chili; duck liver mousse with stone fruit and pickled mustard seed; pork trotter terrine with guajillo chili, poblano, radish and scallion; cauliflower mushroom mezzaluna with brown butter, apple and pine nut; pumpkin, ricotta & farro cappelletti with red walnut, Calabrian chili and sage; roasted hen with delicate squash and black chili; salmon with zucchini, green curry and almond relish; and beef cheeks & bavette with charred cabbage, eggplant and watercress.

Jeremy Fox

Jeremy Fox
267.23
SOCIAL SCORE

Facebook: @Jeremy.Fox

Instagram: @chefjeremyfox

Jeremy Fox’s career trajectory could most easily be described as a tale of redemption, but to put it in those terms would be reductive and frankly insulting to the amount of hard work he has put in. Best known for his vegetable-based creations at Napa’s Ubuntu, Jeremy received rave reviews during his tenure in the kitchen but found the lifestyle unsustainable.

After backing away from the limelight for a little while, Jeremy decided to reinvent himself and recalibrate his approach to cooking. Not wanting to continue his habit of having two- or three-day marathon sessions in the kitchen, Jeremy joined the team at Rustic Canyon in Santa Monica, and his reputation as a talented and inventive chef helped raise expectations for the restaurant. Jeremy has been thrice nominated for a James Beard Foundation award for “Best Chef: West,” was named Food & Wine magazine’s “Best New Chef” in 2008, and received a slew of other accolades. Since Jeremy’s arrival, Rustic Canyon has earned the top spot in the Los Angeles Times’ “Jonathan Gold’s 101 Best Restaurants,” and Jeremy’s star continues to rise. Jeremy’s inclusion on this list should come as no surprise, and his is a name we’ll be sure to hear for years to come.

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At Ubuntu, Jeremy gained a level of fame in the culinary world for his unique and surprising approach to fruit- and vegetable-based dishes, using unconventional ingredients like arugula flowers, fava leaves and mustard flowers to coax out bold, unexpected flavors from his dishes.

At Rustic Canyon, Jeremy has dialed back some of his more avant-garde choices, though he insists those ingredients were always selected in service of making a better dish and not creativity for creativity’s sake. Don’t be fooled, though- Jeremy’s creative mind is still hard at work. Offerings include olives marinated in fennel, garlic & orange; pork pate en croute with preserves, beer mustard & pickles; homemade focaccia with raisins, burrata & beet molasses; chicories with pear, walnut vinaigrette & cheddar; steak tartare with celery, horseradish & egg yolk bottarga; grilled honey nut squash with anchovy, capers, garlic & ricotta; ricotta dumplings puttanesca with tomato, chili, bread crumbs and basil; flatiron steak with spigarello, Romanesco & marrow jus; local striped bass with cranberry bean stew, tomato, olive & lemon; polenta with ricotta & king trumpet mushrooms; and fried potatoes and sunchokes with chicken gravy & capers.

Doug Adams

Doug Adams
269.89
SOCIAL SCORE

Facebook: @Doug.Adams.505

Instagram: @dougiepdx

If you’re a fan of cooking shows like “Top Chef,” there’s a good chance you’ve heard of Doug Adams. As the chef de cuisine of Imperial and Portland Penny Diner, Doug has seen his public profile rise along with the reputation of his restaurants. Born and raised in Tyler, TX, Doug began his culinary career in 2008 when he attended Western Culinary Institute. After graduation, Doug went to work at Lucier restaurant under James Beard award-winning chef Andy Ricker, and after three years learning from one of the best chefs in the business, Doug went to work for another of the best chefs in the business, Vitaly Paley.

Learning the craft of cooking from such established mentors has clearly rubbed off on Doug, as he has quickly risen up the ranks in the kitchen. Doug was selected as the first featured chef for “Culinaria,” a dinner series that aimed to combine the worlds of food and art. It should come as no surprise that he’s earned a place on this list, just as it should come as no surprise that Doug is finally striking out on his own. His first solo endeavor, Bullard (named for his hometown), will open in late 2017 at the Hotel Woodlark in Portland.

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Doug has shown a knack for marrying no-frills Southern cuisine with the more eclectic and artistic cooking style of the Pacific Northwest. On “Top Chef,” one of Doug’s featured dishes was his slow-cooked brisket with cumin, coriander, tomatoes, cayenne and spring onions.

At Imperial and Portland Penny Diner, Doug’s style can be seen throughout the menu. Offerings include Portland poke with hazelnuts, serrano, scallion, ponzu and sea salt; grilled Caesar salad with heirloom tomatoes, grana Padano and croutons; shaved pear salad with ginger-fish sauce vinaigrette, Thai chile, fresh herbs and hazelnuts; kale & vegetable salad with sunflower seed brittle and goat cheese dressing; BLT salad with barbecue-smoked pork cheek, heirloom tomatoes, butter lettuce and green goddess dressing; fried chicken with local honey, pickles and hot sauce; ribeye with fresh Fresno pepper, scallion and pickled red onion; bone-in sturgeon steak with black lentils and ham hock mustard jus; black cod a la plancha with slow-roasted radish, frisee, and maple and fish sauce gastrique; house-made fettuccine with chanterelles, yam, kabocha squash, Brussel leaves and pepitas; fire-roasted mushrooms with bone marrow, lemon and parsley; and 50-day dry-aged T-bone with corn butter and caramelized shallots.

Sarah Pliner

Sarah Pliner
269.97
SOCIAL SCORE

Facebook: @AviaryPDX

Instagram: @aviarypdx

As we’ve noted before, being a chef means being a member of a world that prides itself on collaboration, the free sharing of ideas and tips, and the sheer joy its members feel when they create dishes that are admired and appreciated by those who they respect. Many chefs have no problem expressing their admiration for another chef’s work, because the community is so tightly-knit. But when all is said and done, most chefs tend to focus on their own creations without much outside help; Sarah Pliner, however, is the exception to the rule.

Along with her partners Jasper Shen and Katherine Whitehead, Sarah is one third of the culinary minds behind Aviary, one of the most well-respected and awarded restaurants in Portland, and her work earned her a nomination for a James Beard Foundation award for “Best Chef: Northwest” in 2015. Given Sarah’s unorthodox approach to creating dishes in a collaborative environment, it should come as no surprise that she entered the culinary world in a similarly unorthodox manner: Sarah taught herself how to cook. Drawing on the advice of her mentors Philippe Boulot and Michael Clancy, Sarah worked in a variety of kitchens to hone her craft, including at Alain Ducasse at the Essex House, Aquavit and Aldea in New York City (where she met Jasper and Katherine), and The Heathman in Portland. 

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Special tonight! Chicken of the woods katsu, scallions, sweet soy, smoked tofu!

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New dish! Beef brisket, buckwheat soba, fermented black bean, watermelon radish and peanuts!!!

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New dish! Millet crusted sweetbreads, lychee, summer squash, olives, lime, basil!

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Specialties & Resources

Given Sarah’s extensive training in French kitchens, you might expect the menu at Aviary to consist largely of traditional French cuisine. However, Sarah and her partners have combined their unique backgrounds to create a New American menu that draws in their individual culinary influences, and the offerings are much more well-rounded as a result.

Menu items include shigoku oysters with tomato granite and horseradish; Japanese eggplant with tomato miso, aji Amarillo and dill; prawn salad with snap peas, coconut, cara cara oranges, jalapeno and taro root crisp; roasted cauliflower & haricots verts with yuzukosho vinaigrette, shiso, salted duck egg and hazelnuts; fried chicken skin salad with watermelon, bitter greens and baba ganoush; crispy amaranth-crusted sweetbreads with lychees, lime, summer squash, and black olive oil; slow-roasted goose with smoke maitakes, green papaya, thai chile vinaigrette and chocolate mint; sticky rice cakes with spicy chile glaze, asparagus, morels, buffalo mozzarella and black sesame; charred octopus with molten ricotta pudding, broccoli rabe and red curry jus, and braised beef brisket with buckwheat soba noodles, daikon, fermented black beans, watermelon radish and peanuts.

It’s no surprise that Aviary has been so well-received, and it’s a sure bet that we’ll be hearing more from Sarah and her partners for a long time to come.

Suzanne Goin

Suzanne Goin
271.45
SOCIAL SCORE

Facebook: @SuzanneGoin

Instagram: @suzannegoin

As the daughter of “food-obsessed Francophile parents,” it’s little surprise that Suzanne Goin became a chef; even less surprising is that her specialty is French cuisine, and it’s no surprise at all that she’s used her considerable talents in the kitchen to earn herself a place on this list. After graduating from Brown University, Suzanne worked in famous kitchens around the world, including at Ma Maison, L’Orangerie, Al Forno, Olives, Chez Panisse, and Arpège in Paris. At Campanile in Los Angeles, Suzanne worked as executive chef, laying the foundation for what has been a stellar career so far.

In 1998, Suzanne opened Lucques in Los Angeles, and the fact that it’s been open for nearly 20 years should be an indicator of how well-received the restaurant was. Following up on the success of Lucques, Suzanne opened a.o.c. in 2002, The Hungry Cat in 2005, Tavern in 2009, The Larder at Maple Drive in 2011, and The Larder at Burton Way in 2013.

Suzanne has also received recognition for her individual efforts from the James Beard Foundation. She has received awards for “Best Cookbook from a Professional Viewpoint” and “Best Chef: California” in 2005, and in 2016, she earned the “Outstanding Chef of the Year” award. 

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Suzanne’s culinary style lends itself mainly to French cuisine, but her experience at Al Forno and Olive have also given her a strong background in Italian cooking as well. At Lucques, the menu is French cuisine with a blend of both Italian cooking and the local Mexican culinary style. Offerings include ricotta gnocchi with cherry tomatoes, chanterelles, spinach and carrot puree; corn soup with crème fraiche, cilantro and lime; fruit salad with arugula, sherry, crushed marcona almonds and mint cream; chopped chicken fattoush salad with feta, cucumber, purslane, pita, mint and sumac; grilled cheese with mahon, chorizo, caramelized shallots and arugula salad; salmon with little gems, avocado, succotash salsa and opal basil, and steak frites with arugula salad, béarnaise, and house-made fries.

At The Hungry Cat, the focus is more on the bounty of the sea and fresh produce. Menu items include raw bar options; “The Hungry Cat” platter with oysters, clams, marinated mussels, peel & eat shrimp, snow crab legs, lobster and golden trout roe; caviar, steamed mussels with black garlic cream sauce, heirloom tomatoes, fingerling potatoes, pork belly and grilled bread; chorizo & clams with butter beans, sofrito, Tuscan kale, aioli and toast; Dungeness crab toast on grilled ciabatta with avocado, burrata, celery leaves and paprika; and crab & shrimp cocktail with heirloom tomato gazpacho, fresno chili, hot cucumber, cherry tomatoes, jalapeno and fried masa chips.

Tyler Florence

Tyler Florence
273.64
SOCIAL SCORE

Facebook: @Tyler.Florence.3

Instagram: @tylerflorence

Though many chefs on this list have appeared as contestants on cooking shows, few spend as much time in front of the camera as Tyler Florence. As the host of “Globe Trekker,” “Food 911,” “How to Boil Water,” “Tyler’s Ultimate” and “The Great Food Truck Race,” Tyler has become a household name among chefs. But don’t let his various TV appearances fool you: Tyler spends as much time honing his craft as anyone else on this list.

Tyler graduated from Johnson & Wales’ College of Culinary Arts in 1991, and using his formal education and informal experiences, he has become one of the most successful cookbook authors in the United States. He has published 11 books, using his unique storytelling style to add depth and character to the dishes he presents; in some cases, the books center entirely around the variations that can be had with just one or two simple dishes (“Tyler Makes Pancakes” and “Tyler Makes Spaghetti” come to mind).

In 2008, Tyler developed a plan to open Bar Florence in San Francisco’s Hotel Vertigo, and in 2009 he developed three restaurant concepts in the San Francisco area (Wayfare Tavern, Rotisserie & Wine, and El Paseo). 

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Bacon Wrapped Pork Chops with Brown Sugar and Sage #yourwelcome @cavanclark2 #CPO

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Roasted Beets, Kale Pesto. #Fall @wayfaretavern

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Steamed Alaskan Halibut, Leek Purée, Summer Pole Beans, Olives, Pine Nuts and Orange Oil. @wayfaretavern

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Specialties & Resources

Like many chefs, Tyler’s passion for cooking stems from “the need of people to feed their families well.” Simplicity is key here; Tyler’s overarching goal is to make good, simple meals. At Wayfare, the menu includes organic fried chicken with buttermilk brine, roasted garlic, herbs and lemon; herbed gnocchi with roasted winter squash, kale and pumpkin-seed pesto; fresh burrata and pears with quince membrillo, roasted Bosc pears, tarragon, hazelnut and toasted country bread; and roasted bone marrow with blackberries and watercress.

At El Paseo, the focus is “Classic California, Spanish Flair,” and it’s easy to see why when you take a look at the offerings on the menu. Menu items include charred tomato gazpacho with diced vegetable salad and crispy sliced garlic; salmon crudo with confit carrots & fennel, radish, and heirloom tomato vinaigrette; clam brodo with saffron and aioli toast; veal chop with crispy sweet potatoes, roasted garlic, whipped butter and sage; whole red trout with prosciutto, tomato couscous, frisee and dehydrated olives; a 32-oz. ribeye with charred leeks, whipped potatoes and creamy horseradish sauce; and roasted half chicken with saffron rice cake, succotash, and Aleppo butter.

Rick Moonen

Rick Moonen
275.61
SOCIAL SCORE

Facebook: @ChefRickMoonen

Instagram: @ChefMoonen

Aside from one or two chefs, the practice of almost exclusively cooking seafood has so far been underrepresented on this list. Rick Moonen is here to change that. Rick has made the concept of sustainable seafood his life’s work, and he frequently speaks on ocean conservation and the dangers of overfishing. Don’t think he’s merely an activist, however; Rick is the winner of the 1993 Chefs in America “Chef of the Year: Northeast” award, a finalist in the second season of “Top Chef Masters”, and the 2006 Seafood Champion Award.

After graduating first in his class from the Culinary Institute of America, Rick worked at La Cote Basque, Le Cirque and The Water Club before becoming executive chef at Oceana, all in New York. His first solo restaurant, rm, received a three-star review from The New York Times; after closing rm in 2005, Rick opened rm Seafood in Las Vegas, rated one of the 10 Best restaurants in Las Vegas.

In addition to his success as a restaurateur, Rick is also a founding member of the Chef’s Coalition and the Seafood Choices Alliance, as well as a member of the Wildlife Conservation Society, Seaweb, Share our Strength, and a board member of Ecofish, proving that ethically-prepared food can still be wildly successful.

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Rick’s focus on sustainable seafood dishes shines through in all of his creations at rm Seafood. The menu offers interesting takes and new complementary flavors on traditional seafood dishes; offerings include Spanish octopus with castlevetrano olives, arugula, roasted almonds and lemon verbera oil; kona kampachi in dishi broth with white soy sauce, cilantro, lemon verbera and chilled shishito pepper; Spanish marinated anchovies with tomato relish, olive tapenade, baby spinach and hard egg; charred Spanish octopus with fingerling potatoes, cherry tomatoes, natural jus and lemon aioli; and his “Surf and Surf,” a half lobster served with jumbo gulf shrimp over truffle mushroom risotto.

At Rx Boiler Room, Rick’s other establishment, the focus is less on seafood and more on inventive cocktails and traditional American comfort food. Menu items include chicken pot pie nuggets, buffalo fried oysters, braised Colorado lamb shank with toasted orzo, gremolata and ricotta, California dates with blue cheese, smoked bacon and a balsamic glaze, duck confit poutine, Peking duck lettuce wraps, and fish tacos served in taro root shells with grapefruit.

Traci Des Jardins

Traci Des Jardins
275.88
SOCIAL SCORE

You would imagine that the child of a French father and a Mexican mother would have a very unique approach to cooking. And as Traci Des Jardins has shown us, you would be right. Born in California, Traci was raised with cooking that reflected both her mother’s Mexican heritage and her father’s Louisianan-French Acadian background.

Before starting her own restaurants, Traci apprenticed at La Maison Troisgros in France and served as executive chef at Joachim Splichal’s Patina in Los Angeles. In 1998, Traci opened her own establishment, Jardinière, following up on her James Beard Foundation award for “Rising Star Chef of the Year” in 1995. Since opening Jardinière (which was named Esquire magazine’s “Best New Restaurant” and nominated for the same award by the James Beard Foundation), Traci has received the James Beard Foundation award for “Best Chef: Pacific” in 2007, won Food & Wine magazine’s “Best New Chef” award, and San Francisco magazine’s “Chef of the Year” award. And, of course, Traci has also competed on “Top Chef: Masters,” “Iron Chef America,” and “The Next Iron Chef,” so it’s no surprise that a chef with her extensive resume is appearing on this list.

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Alaskan Coho Salmon • sweet corn, cherry tomato, miso, basil. #dinnertime #sfeats #sf #salmon #hayesvalley

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Shiny new #dessert! HUCKLEBERRY TART • sunflower, molasses. #sweets #hayesvalley #sfeats

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Specialties & Resources

Calling on her unique culinary background, Traci uses locally-sourced, organic and seasonal ingredients wherever possible to create interesting new twists on classic dishes. Though Jardinière can best be classified as a French restaurant, you can find the Mexican practice of using local ingredients to add flavor and a visually appealing aesthetic to the dishes.

Some of the pre-dinner offerings at Jardinière include burrata & focaccia with lardo, rosemary and sea salt, wild rice croquette with goat cheese and porcini mushrooms, autumn vegetable soup with flageolet, artichoke and lamb sausage, chicory salad with pippin apple, sunflower and buttermilk, Hamachi crudo with habanero, avocado and lime.

The dinner menu includes items such as chicken with chantenay carrot, pumpkin shoot and hummus; quail with red grape, quinoa, purslane and tomatillo; Alaskan halibut with chanterelle, chrysanthemum and umeboshi; lamb (loin, belly, and shoulder) with kale and lentil panisse, and jardinière charcuterie with mousse, pate, testa, pancetta and lucchese.

And in the grand tradition of French cuisine, the desserts include chocolate terrine with pave, bavarois and sesame; mulled pear sorbet with chevre, pain d’epices and citrus, and mignardises.

Michael Mina

Michael Mina
278.90
SOCIAL SCORE

As impressive as it is that Spike Mendelsohn has cooked meals for Barack and Michelle Obama, Michael Mina has him beat: he has cooked for three United States Presidents. Born in Egypt and raised in Washington state, Michael began his culinary career at the age of 16, working in the kitchen of a French restaurant in his hometown. Upon graduating high school, Michael attended the University of Washington for one year, working at a restaurant in the Space Needle; it was there that he decided to dedicate his life to the art of cooking, and he transferred to the Culinary Institute of America in New York.

Michael’s namesake restaurants in San Francisco and Las Vegas each hold one Michelin star, and his San Francisco location was named “Restaurant of the Year” in 2011 by Esquire magazine. Of course, Michael has won plenty of awards in his career, including the James Beard Foundation Award for “Best Chef” in 2002, Bon Appétit and San Francisco magazines’ “Chef of the Year” in 2005, “Restaurateur of the Year” in 2005, Wine Enthusiast magazine’s “Restaurateur of the Year” in 2012, and the Richard Melman award in 2009. 

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Michael does not subscribe to one specific style of cooking. As he puts it, “My philosophy on cooking is my philosophy on life: create balance and harmony.” Michael believes in making his dishes come alive, and he strives to do so by creating meals that strike the perfect balance of flavorful without being overwhelming.

The menu at Michael’s restaurants reflects his commitment to meals that challenge our perception of what flavors and ingredients go with others. Rather than focus on one or two complementary accessories with the main dish, Michael loads up the plate with as many varied flavors as possible. By doing so, he achieves the balance he is looking for, and the resulting dishes are noteworthy for their surprising flavor combinations. Offerings include phyllo-crusted blue prawn with sharlyn melon, heirloom tomato, anise hyssop, heart of palm, pluot, finger lime, yogurt, cucumber and grape; ahi tuna tartare with mint, scotch bonnet, quail egg, pine nut and garlic; duck and foie gras with bergamot mint, wild ramp, yellow peach, eggplant, gypsy pepper, Melrose apple, maitake, haricot vert, red miso and huckleberry; and Maine lobster pot pie with black truffle, cognac and lobster cream.

Thomas Keller

Thomas Keller
279.81
SOCIAL SCORE

Few chefs have had as much continued success in the restaurant industry, and no chef has singlehandedly more of turned their restaurants into a household name than Thomas Keller. Of course, before he gained fame as one of the world’s premier chefs, Thomas had to start in his mother’s restaurant, filling in whenever one of her cooks got sick, and his early experience served him well when he opened the now-legendary French Laundry in California in 1994.

Over the next 11 years, The French Laundry received a slew of awards (including three Michelin stars, the “Best Restaurant in the World” title from Restaurant magazine in 2003 and 2004, and a Mobil Travel Guide five-star award from 1999-2004), as did its owner. Thomas has been named “America’s Best Chef” (Time magazine, 2001), “Chef of the Year” (Bon Appetit magazine, 2001), “Best American Chef” (James Beard Foundation, 1996), and an induction into the Culinary Hall of Fame.

In 2004, Thomas opened Per Se in New York City, and the awards and reviews for Per Se indicate that it is well on its way to becoming a legendary restaurant in the same way as The French Laundry. 

Top Dishes

Nothing like a #LaborDay weekend Lobster Roll @adhoc_addendum

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A French classic. @bouchon_bistro's Veal Blanquette. #Yountville.

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Nova Scotia Lobster Tarte @perseny | Photo by @djonesstudio

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Specialties & Resources

Thomas’ cooking is rooted in traditional French cuisine with hints of contemporary American influences. The menu at Per Se changes daily, and as if to prove his mastery of the art of cooking, Thomas has a personal commitment to never repeat the same ingredient twice in his tasting menu. Today’s menu includes such offerings as Mediterranean lubina with glazed celtuce, celeriac cream and meyer lemon confit, charcoal-grilled miyazaki wagyu with cherry tomatoes, cocktail artichokes, arugula pesto and olive oil mousseline, and Hokkaido sea scallops with sweet carrots, wilted arrowleaf spinach and “sauce hydromel.”

At The French Laundry, Thomas issues himself the same challenge: a new menu every day, and no repeated ingredients throughout. Today’s menu at The French Laundry includes Gulf Coast cobia with wild arctic char roe, little farm artichokes, garden cucumbers and crème fraiche, kurobuta pork jowl with bosc pears, celery root puree, whole grain mustard and bacon gastrique, herb-roasted lamb with roasted carrots, preserved meyer lemon, poached sultanas, pea shoots and marcona almond jus, and honeycomb tripe stewed in tomatoes, olive oil and oreganata bread crumbs.