At the age of 25, Daniela Soto-Innes has already received as many accolades as some chefs do in their entire careers, so it should come as no surprise that she’s made this list. (Of course, most chefs don’t start interning at the age of 15.) Born and raised in Mexico before moving to the United States when she was 12 years old, Daniela’s interest in a cooking career began when a chef from the local Marriott visited her school to talk about his job. After graduating from Le Cordon Bleu, Daniela traveled and staged in Europe, New York, Mexico and Texas.
At Pujol in Mexico City, Daniela worked with Enrique Olvera, and when Olvera decided to open up a restaurant in New York City, he brought Daniela along as his chef de cuisine at his new endeavor Cosme, where she remains today.
Naturally, a prodigy such as Daniela has received her fair share of accolades. In 2015, Daniela received a “Rising Star Chef” award from StarChefs, followed by a “Rising Star Chef” award from the James Beard Foundation in 2016. Daniela has also been featured in Bon Appetit and Lucky Peach, and if history is any indication, we’re going to be seeing a lot more of her in the future.
Specialties & Resources
At Cosme, the focus is on contemporary Mexican-inspired cuisine, but naturally, there is a bit of culinary overlap. Daniela and the team at Cosme also use local and seasonal ingredients from New York’s Hudson Valley to round out their dishes and provide a unique flavor, while still maintaining the traditional roots of Mexican cuisine.
The fare at Cosme is a reflection of Daniela and Olvera’s shared Mexican heritage, but with enough of a cosmopolitan twist to keep things interesting and fresh. Some of the offerings include sliced raw fish with poblano, finger lime, avocado and black lime, cobia al pastor with pineapple puree and cilantro, huarache with razor clams, lime kosho and marcona almonds, buffalo mozzarella with epazote, garlic mojo and greens, and duck carnitas with onions, radishes and cilantro.
As Olvera’s chef de cuisine, it’s clear that Daniela has found the perfect fit for her unique style and skills in the kitchen, just as it’s clear that Cosme is better off for having her on the team. For now, we’ll have to content ourselves with the great work she continues to do at Cosme, but don’t be surprised if we see Daniela headlining her own kitchen in the very near future.