Food & Wine revealed the winners of its Best New Chefs awards for 2014 this morning in a series of selfies posted by magazine editor Dana Cowin.
For the photos, Cowin asked the 12 winners — from 10 restaurants around the U.S. — to recreate the faces they made when they found out they had been named to the prestigious list. The chefs were selected by the magazine’s editors during a months-long process that included a broad call for nominations and incognito visits to their restaurants.
These are the chefs to keep an eye on this year. Texas fared particularly well on the list, while Manhattan chefs were shut out. Get to know the winners (and see their selfies) below.
Justin Yu, Oxheart, Houston
Yu’s vegetable-centric Houston restaurant opened in March 2012. Both he and the restaurant were named seminfinalists at the 2013 James Beard Awards. Yu worked at *17 in Houston, Green Zebra and Spring in Chicago, and Ubuntu in Napa Valley before opening his own kitchen.
Cara Stadler, Tao Yuan, Brunswick ME
Stadler is the younger half of the mother-daughter pair at Tao Yuan, a modern Asian restaurant in Maine. She worked at Café Rouge in Berkeley, Striped Bass in Philadelphia, and at Guy Savoy and Gordon Ramsay Au Trianon Palace in Paris. She was also a 2014 James Beard semifinalist in the Rising Star Chef of the year category.
Greg Denton and Gabrielle Quinonez Denton, Ox, Portland, OR
The Dentons’ Ox was inspired by the wood-fired grills of Argentina, along with the culinary heritage of Spain, France and Italy. The pair were also named 2014 James Beard semifinalist for Best Chef Pacific Northwest for the second year in a row.
Matthew Accarrino, SPQR, San Francisco
SPQR is a traditional Italian restaurant with Northern California touches. Accarrino trained in Italy and worked for boldface-named chefs like Todd English, Rick Moonen, Tom Colicchio, and Thomas Keller. Accarrino was a James Beard semifinalist for Best Chef: Pacific in 2012, and SPQR received its first Michelin star in 2013.
Paul Qui, Qui, Austin, TX
Qui has a familiar face: He was the winner of “Top Chef: Season 9,” and won the 2012 James Beard award for Best New Chef in the Southwest in 2012. At Austin restaurant Qui, he serves “dishes that balance his expert Japanese cooking skills, his love for France and his Filipino heritage,” according to Food & Wine.
Eli Kulp, Fork, Philadelphia
Kulp has a serious background in Italian cuisine, having trained at Torrisi Italian Specialties, Casa Lever, La Fonda del Sol, and Del Posto in New York City. He was named executive chef at Fork in the fall of 2012.
Ari Taymor, Alma, Los Angeles
Taymor is a self-taught chef and the co-owner of Alma, which started as a pop-up restaurant and is now a renowned Los Angeles eatery known for its tasting menus based on locally grown produce. He trained at flour+water, Bar Tartine, Plate Shop, and La Chassagnette.
Dave Beran, Next, Chicago
Beran works with acclaimed chef Grant Achatz to create an entirely new menu every four months. He was nominated for a James Beard Rising Star Chef of the Year award in 2012, and is an avid runner.
Matt McCallister, FT33, Dallas
Self-taught McCallister opened FT33 in October 2012, and serves “season-inspired modern cuisine,” according to the restaurant’s website. He has worked under famous chefs including José Andrés, Mark Vetri, Sean Brock, Grant Achatz, and Daniel Boulud, and is known for pairing unorthodox ingredients.
Walker Stern and Joe Ogrodnek, Dover, Brooklyn
The duo behind Brooklyn’s Battersby opened Dover in late 2013. Stern and Ogrodnek both attended the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY, and worked under Alain Ducasse. They’re known for putting a modern twist on classic dishes.
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