Jessica Largey may hold the distinction of being the only chef on this list who started her culinary career before most of us start kindergarten. At the age of 5, Jessica watched her mother make scrambled eggs, then decided to try it on her own the very next morning. With Jessica’s passion for cooking, coupled with her grandmother’s guidance, it’s no surprise she’s made a very successful career for herself in the culinary world.
Jessica is best known for her work as chef de cuisine at Manresa in California, and she has also worked at Providence in Los Angeles, The Fat Duck in England, LAMILL Coffee Boutique in Los Angeles, and Bastide Restaurant in Hollywood. Her hard work has not gone unnoticed- Jessica made Zagat’s “30 Under 30” list for San Francisco in 2013, and that same year she was named a “Rising Star Chef” by StarChefs.com and won a “Young Guns” award from Eater magazine. In 2014, Jessica earned another “Rising Star Chef” designation (this time from the San Francisco Chronicle), and in 2015, Jessica won the James Beard Foundation award for “Rising Star Chef of the Year.”
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Jessica also worked as the chef de cuisine at Manresa in Los Gatos, CA, and the menu there (which changes daily to best take advantage of local offerings) gave us a peek at her culinary influences. Jessica’s most recent stint was at Intro in Chicago, a restaurant known for introducing rising stars in the culinary world by having visiting chefs work with Intro’s executive chef Stephen Gillanders. Jessica was the first female chef-in-residence at Intro, serving as yet another testament to her artistry and dedication to her craft.
At Intro, Jessica’s dishes included steak tartare with fermented carrots and olive crackers; abalone toast with black vinegar, shiitake mushrooms, yuzu cucumber and brown-butter aioli; beet salad with daikon, Buddha’s hand citrus and smoked avocado cream; caramelized sea scallops with fried potatoes, chervil, spaghetti and caper aioli; parmesan dumplings with peas, green garlic and pistachio; and roasted Romanesco with daikon slices and kumquats.
Jessica has plans to open her own restaurant late this year, and given her past success, she’s sure to remain on many top chef lists for years to come.