- Peter Gilmore, Quay
Peter Gilmore, Quay
“What we try to do is to produce original, beautifully crafted food with a big emphasis on layers of texture and flavours to create an overall sense of balance. Food that tastes beautiful, that takes you on a journey of different sensations, that makes you think about where it came from.”
Driven by his deep fascination with nature, Peter Gilmore has created a cuisine that celebrates the diversity of Australia. In addition to experimenting in his own garden, he works closely with farmers, fishermen, and artisan producers to reflect, in his own words, “nature’s beauty and sense of wonder.” His cooking philosophy is grounded in the balance of four elements: nature, texture, intensity, and purity.
Smoked Confit Pig Jowl, Shiitake, Shaved Sea Scallop, Jerusalem Artichoke Leaves, Juniper, Bay
From Organum by Peter Gilmore. Copyright 2015 by Murdoch Books.
“For me this dish truly represents my approach to cooking. The processes the ingredients go through make the dish far greater than the sum of its parts. The pork jowl is initially steamed in salted chicken stock for eight hours. It is then cold smoked over maple wood chips and finally confit in an infused jamon, bay and juniper butter. The fresh shiitake are peeled and shaved by hand across the mushroom. The shiitake are sautéed in infused butter to re-emphasise the fragrance of juniper and bay. The shiitake gain an intense umami dimension and a silky, slippery texture. This is then re-emphasized with the shaved almost-sashimi scallops that also mimic and build on the texture of the fat surrounding the jowl. These textures are all contrasted against the crisp Jerusalem artichoke leaves. The leaves themselves represent the crisp crackling associated with pork but have an earthy dimension to their flavour. “This dish builds intensity of flavour and texture through every process, ultimately creating what I consider to be the perfect dish.”
- Christophe Hardiquest, Bon Bon
Christophe Hardiquest, Bon Bon
“My philosophy for Bon Bon is to knit together the patchwork of our memories of tastes and flavours and to gently work on ensuring that these memories go on and on.”
At Bon Bon, located in a villa outside of the Brussels city center, Christophe Hardiquest orchestrates a dining experience that encourages exploration and delight. While he embraces improvisation, his cooking is at once playful and precise. He combines Flemish and French attitudes to represent his interpretation of Belgian identity– modern techniques that maintain a respect for top-quality products.
Scallop Carpaccio and Oyster Gazpacho (2009)
This dish was created after Hardiquest took a trip to Cancale in 2009 where he found a perfect pair in eating raw scallops and oysters together.
- Kobe Desramaults, In de Wulf
Kobe Desramaults, In de Wulf
“Our philosophy is to create an experience that is honest about who and where we are, the constraints of our philosophy are both our biggest challenge and our motivating force. Our kitchen is therefore sometimes brutal, sometimes soft, but always natural.”
When Kobe Desramaults returned to his hometown of Dranouter to take over his mother’s bistro, he turned a small restaurant in the countryside into a culinary destination. Drawing out complexity in humble, local ingredients, his cooking favors focus over assortment. Instead of incorporating many different flavors in one dish, he believes that concentrating on one ingredient at a time creates the most memorable meals.
“Kerremelkstampers is the West-Flemish word for karnemelk stampers (Dutch), karnemelk meaning buttermilk and stamper meaning mash. This dish is deep-rooted in Flemish culture and a favourite of many. It was originally made by cooking then mashing potatoes in the buttermilk that remained after the butter was churned. It is usually served as an accompaniment with meat or fish, although at In de Wulf, we make it as a dish of its own by serving it with a small potato cooked inside a crust of salt and ash.”
- Peter Goossens, Hof van Cleve
Peter Goossens, Hof van Cleve
“You need to work at 300 percent every day, each day. You need to always try and improve, create new things.”
At Hof van Cleve, located in the West Flanders countryside, Peter Goossens combines his classical French training and traditional Belgian roots. While much of the menu brilliantly showcases local produce and seafood, he also draws inspiration from Japanese ingredients. With over 30 years of experience, he has created a unique contemporary cuisine that remains consistent, but never predictable.
Scottish Salmon, Algae, Sesame (2015)
- Gert De Mangeleer, Hertog Jan
Gert De Mangeleer, Hertog Jan
“Our motto is ‘simplicity is not simple.’ It’s very important to me to let my ingredients speak for themselves, but give them my personal twist. My creations are striking for their contrasts: tender/crunchy, salty/bitter, hot/cold.”
Every dish at Hertog Jan is born in the garden. When constructing the menu, Gert de Mangeleer starts with the vegetables, fruits, and flowers that the team grows right outside of their kitchen, a refurbished 180-year-old barn. Guests enjoy a view of the garden as they savor its bounty– transformed into a cuisine that is honest, respectful, and close to nature.
Kohlrabi Ravioli, Smoked Oosterschelde Eel, Goose Liver, Smoked Eel Broth (2015)
- Rodrigo Oliveira, Mocotó *
Rodrigo Oliveira, Mocotó *
São Paulo, Brazil
“Tradition is just innovation that went right.”
Mocotó, opened in 1973 and named after the beloved cow’s feet soup, is a favorite for working-class locals and gourmands alike. When Rodrigo Oliveira took over the family business, he updated classic northeastern recipes from his father’s native Pernambuco and invented new dishes from forgotten ingredients. With affordable prices and warm hospitality, he creates an inclusive environment where anyone can enjoy his high-caliber cooking.
Dadinhos de Tapioca (2005)
“It's a really simple recipe made of fresh milk, coalho cheese and tapioca. It was created in our restaurant 10 years ago and over the years became copied and served all around the country. Now you can find a version of this recipe in places like Japan, South Africa and France, for example.”
- Martin Picard, Au Pied de Cochon
Martin Picard, Au Pied de Cochon
“I just love foie gras. I think I was born with a foie gras in place of a liver.”
Au Pied de Cochon, renowned for elevating poutine and serving decadent portions of foie gras, has amassed a cult following. Martin Picard infuses Québécois comfort food with skilled technique and creativity. The result is a feast of unpretentious, indulgent nose-to-tail eating that embodies excess in the most delicious way and highlights the culinary traditions of the area. At his Sugar Shack, he has transformed a working maple syrup cabin into a venue that is equally about preserving regional heritage as it is a creative restaurant concept.
Plogue à Champlain with Foie Gras (2004)
“A ‘ploye’ (or ‘plogue’) is a traditional dish in northwestern New Brunswick, particularly in the Republic of Madawaska. It is essentially a pancake made of buckwheat flour, without eggs or butter, and cooked on one side only. But here again, we must exercise caution when trying to pin down the official recipe, since the original ploye continues to elude archaeologists.
“The PDC variant of this dish was born one evening, during a hunting trip, when Martin Picard and restaurateur Champlain Charest were discussing the art of fine cuisine and began to fantasize about the menu for the next morning’s breakfast. From that day on, the ‘ploye’ has been one of the most popular foie gras dishes on the menu at Au Pied de Cochon.”
- David McMillan & Frédéric Morin, Joe Beef
David McMillan & Frédéric Morin, Joe Beef
David McMillan’s and Frédéric Morin’s Joe Beef represents their love for French cooking and its cuisine du marché. The pair’s modesty and the restaurant’s down-to-earth attitude, belie its place as an international culinary destination for food that is bold and generous, but also thoughtful and elegant. Opened in 2005 in the Little Burgundy neighborhood of Montreal, it is one of those rare restaurants that has been able to captivate a diverse audience of gourmands, locals, chefs, and romantics nostalgic for an old world joie de vivre.
Celeriac and Goat Cheese Profiterole with Tomato and Parsley (1990)
From The Art of Living According to Joe Beef: A Cookbook of Sorts. Copyright Ten Speed Press 2011.
“Nicolas Jongleux is a Montreal legend. Born and raised in Marsannay, in Burgundy, he grew up working in some of France’s most influential kitchens, including, at age twenty-six, under Alain Chapel at the three-Michelin-star La Mère Charles in Mionnay. He came to Montreal under the guise of partnering in Le Cintra, where he worked for three years. From there, he ran the seminal Les Caprices de Nicolas. David says: ‘He had more talent than anyone I’ve ever seen. I once watched him make sixty identical croissants by hand, no recipe, no scale, and he hadn’t made croissants for more than five years. When he finished, there was not a drop of extra pastry, and each pastry was perfect.
“He was also the kind of person who had such discipline all of his life, that when he left France, he lived the experiences most of us had in our teens, in his thirties. He opened his last restaurant, Café Jongleux, in 1999, and committed suicide in the restaurant later that year. This recipe was a Nicolas classic.”
- Normand Laprise, Toqué!
Normand Laprise, Toqué!
“For me, to work locally is first and foremost about freshness.”
Normand Laprise is an icon of Québécois gastronomy whose cooking embodies the restaurant’s time and place. The farm-to-table philosophy may be widely accepted now, but he was bucking industry standards before it was in vogue. After years of cultivating relationships with purveyors and encouraging the production of high-quality, local ingredients, Toqué! has also become a learning center for young cooks.
Sophie’s Cold Cod Soup (2000)
“Recipes always begin with either a story or an accident. Fifteen years ago, preoccupied by the changes he wanted to make to the menu, Normand woke up in the middle of the night to be alone in the restaurant’s kitchen. When he got back home, he told Sophie, his wife, about all the new dishes he’d made up. The last one really made an impression. A cold cod soup, really? Her and the serving staff were pretty surprised. Normand got everyone to taste it and the team simply loved it. But never as much as Sophie did.”
- Thomas Haas, Thomas Haas
Thomas Haas, Thomas Haas
“What's the point of learning if you don’t share?”
Trained as a Konditormeister, or Master Pastry Chef, Thomas Haas comes from a long line of pâtissiers dating back to 1918 with his great-grandfather’s café in Aichhalden, Germany. From his Vancouver shops, he has amassed a following of loyal patrons infatuated with his handmade chocolates, pastries, and cakes. Never complacent, he continues to hone and refine his recipes.
Pineapple Carpaccio (1998)
Based on pineapple and fresh citrus, this dish has continuously evolved since its conception in 1998 when he was Executive Pastry Chef at Daniel in New York City.
- Dong Zhenxiang, Da Dong
Dong Zhenxiang, Da Dong
“Food is like language. You feel comfortable when you speak your mother tongue.”
Dong Zhenxiang, nicknamed Da Dong, has become synonymous with his famous roast duck–lean yet moist inside with exceptionally crispy skin. Nonetheless, a closer look at Da Dong’s extensive menu reveals his command of an ancient and diverse cuisine. With a progressive approach and wide-ranging repertoire, he has developed his interpretation of modern Chinese food and become a pillar in Beijing’s changing cultural landscape.
Wagyu Beef, Chinese Sichuan Pepper, Chinese Wasabi Sauce
- Richard Ekkebus, Amber *
Richard Ekkebus, Amber *
Hong Kong, China
After years of traveling and working in Holland, France, Mauritius, and Barbados, Richard Ekkebus brings his global knowledge to The Landmark Mandarin Oriental as the hotel’s Culinary Director. A Francophile at heart, he inventively uses ingredients from around the world while maintaining the integrity of French food. Pacific seafood becomes the menu’s star, and varied textures demonstrate his deft understanding of the local palate.
Sea Urchin in a Lobster Jell-o with Cauliflower, Caviar, Crispy ‘Seaweed’ Waffle (2006)
“As a kid I stepped on a sea urchin whilst on holiday in Spain. In that same holiday, I found out that this dangerously prickly creature was edible and that it had the most intense and distinctive sea flavour I had ever experienced. I grew up in the Dutch oyster region and was familiar with eating various amazing sea creatures, but this was of a different level, and I have been obsessed with sea urchins ever since!”
- Lau Chiu Shing, Fook Lam Moon
Lau Chiu Shing, Fook Lam Moon
Hong Kong, China
“No matter how talented a chef, the food would never impress without stellar ingredients.”
What began in 1948 as a catering service for the Hong Kong elite has grown into one of the city’s most iconic restaurants. Fook Lam Moon, a family-run business which translates to good fortune arriving at your door, continues to set the standard for traditional Cantonese cooking. Both the dim sum and extensive á la carte menu offer delicate interpretations of a grand cuisine.
Fresh Crab Claw Steamed with Egg White and Chinese Wine (c. 1970)
“This is a Cantonese dish that requires good steaming techniques and a good balance of egg and wine, which complement the fresh taste of the fresh crab claw.”
- Matt Abergel, Rōnin
Matt Abergel, Rōnin
Hong Kong, China
Matt Abergel understands the fundamentals of Japanese food and brings this expertise to his seafood-centric izakaya and whiskey bar. Maintaining a balance between personal style and restraint, he respects the basic values of Japanese cuisine with understated sophistication. In place of typical luxury items like caviar and truffles, he cooks with the freshest seafood that Hong Kong and Japan have to offer.
Uni, Fresh Nori, Panko (2013)
- Matt Orlando, Amass
Matt Orlando, Amass
Born and raised in California, Matt Orlando combines a casual, relaxed atmosphere– hip hop on the speakers and graffiti on the walls– with detailed, high-level cooking. The menu embraces spontaneity and frequently changes to reflect whatever ingredients are at their peak. The onsite garden and greenhouse not only inspire the menu, but also support their fight against food waste and serious commitment to sustainability.
Carrot, Sour Curd, Pickled Pine (2014)
“For me, this dish represents what is at the core of Amass. It was late winter, about 4 months before we were open. I was standing in the barn of one of the farmers we work with. He was showing us the machine that sorted carrots to certain sizes. I looked down at the ground and in the mud were hundreds of small carrots. I asked him why they were on the ground and he replied, Nobody wants this size. I picked one up and washed it off. It was so sweet and I immediately told him that I would take every one of these carrots the following year. When they came in, I was so excited. We waited to taste them before creating the dish. We never create a dish then order the products. We let the products come in and tell us how to cook them.”
- René Redzepi, Noma
René Redzepi, Noma
“In an effort to shape our way of cooking, we look to our landscape and delve into our ingredients and culture, hoping to rediscover our history and shape our future.”
Noma started a culinary revolution with its exploration of Nordic cuisine using only Scandinavian products. Foraging and fermentation, fueled by deliberate research and experimentation, elevate previously overlooked ingredients. René Redzepi never ceases to push the creative boundaries of a chef. From immersing his entire team in new environments for months at a time to hosting the MAD Symposium, he leads an international discussion on the future of food and fosters a global community.
Wood Sorrel & Sheep's Milk Yogurt (2005)
“When we first did this back in the day, it came from visiting our dairy farm. We were watching the sheep graze, and that's when inspiration struck– of serving the milk with a component of the diet it was produced on.”
- Christian Puglisi, Relæ *
Christian Puglisi, Relæ *
“Great cooking comes from great ingredients, not great machinery.”
While Christian Puglisi has an impressive background in fine dining, his restaurant Relæ distills the dining experience down to what he finds most important–focused, sustainable food made from high quality ingredients. Almost all of their products, from fish to sugar to wine, are certified organic. His personal point of view is displayed on the plate with seasonal vegetables as the focal point.
Lettuce Sandwich (2015)
- James Knappett & Sandia Chang, Bubbledogs *
James Knappett & Sandia Chang, Bubbledogs *
“You don’t need excessively fancy food to bring out the best of a good wine.”
By pairing champagne with hotdogs, Bubbledogs challenges the idea that the sparkling wine is just for special occasions. Sandia Chang, alongside chef and husband James Knappett, provides an approachable, fun way for anyone to enjoy and learn about grower champagne. Drawing on their roots in fine dining, they devise creative hot dog recipes that add to the comfortable, welcoming atmosphere.
“This was one of the first hot dogs created for our restaurant. We wanted to showcase the familiar food that we know day to day that can be adapted to a hot dog topping. We also wanted to make sure that everything we put on our hot dogs can be made fresh everyday with the best ingredients. This is of course a reference to Mexican food that I missed so much from California.”
- Isaac McHale, The Clove Club *
Isaac McHale, The Clove Club *
Isaac McHale first made a name for himself as a member of the Young Turks collective, a small group of ambitious chefs running high-profile pop-ups in various locations around London. He opened The Clove Club in 2013 and continues to be an exciting voice in the new generation of British chefs. From the occasional use of Indian spices to overlooked British ingredients, his unique perspective is presented in a simple, accessible way.
Buttermilk Fried Chicken & Pine Salt (2008)
- Jason Atherton, Pollen Street Social
Jason Atherton, Pollen Street Social
“My philosophy is that you should never rest on your laurels and push yourself to be creative.”
While chef and restaurateur Jason Atherton has amassed a collection of cosmopolitan restaurants spanning seven cities and four continents, his flagship Pollen Street Social continues to mature and take risks. In a festive yet sophisticated atmosphere, his “deformalised fine dining” showcases British grown produce and a breadth of knowledge. At the end of their meal, guests can even finish their last course at the dessert bar while watching the talented pastry chefs at work.
Eton Mess (2015)
- Sat Bains, Restaurant Sat Bains
Sat Bains, Restaurant Sat Bains
“I question everything. Why do combinations work? What levels of acidity need to be added to offset fat? How much crunch needs to be introduced to give texture to cream? We research, research and research more.”
Two hours outside London, in the East Midlands, Sat Bains creates a smart tasting menu that plays with British produce and activates the entire palate. Every aspect of taste, texture, and temperature is analyzed without becoming overwrought. His distinctive style excites, but ultimately leaves the guest with a beautiful sense of comfort.
Chicken Liver Muesli (2008)
“This dish was based on a classic foie gras parfait, toast and chutney. We reworked it and changed every component so that it almost confused the diner, but had strong elements that were familiar in taste.”
- Stephen Harris, The Sportsman
Stephen Harris, The Sportsman
“I had found the style I would serve: great, super-fresh local ingredients, cooked with skill but never allowing the wild flavours to be ruined by a chef’s ego.”
The Sportsman is a rural pub along the Kent coast run by Stephen Harris, a self-taught chef and former finance advisor who learned to cook by dining. Dating back centuries, the village has a rich culinary heritage of farming and supplying products to the Canterbury Cathedral kitchen. This local history defines Stephen’s personal style as he creates thoughtful food from the ocean, marshland, and woods that surround him.
Scallop in Seaweed Butter (2007)
“This dish came from finding a use for my seaweed butter. I collect seaweed from the beach by my pub, churn the creme fraiche from a nearby farm, and then add salt that I make from the seawater.”
- Olivier Roellinger, La table Le Coquillage at Les Maisons de Bricourt *
Olivier Roellinger, La table Le Coquillage at Les Maisons de Bricourt *
“What I had sought was a cuisine written in the style of a grand adventure novel, and that was what spices allowed me to do.”
In a small fishing port in Brittany, Olivier Roellinger frames his cuisine with the history of his hometown–epic tales of merchant ships and the 17th and 18th century quest for spices. At Les Maisons de Bricourt, his fascination with the spice trade merged with his reverence for local seafood. Twenty six years later, he turned in his 3 Michelin stars and closed the restaurant. His cuisine lives on today at Le Table de Coquillage and his spice shops Epices Roellinger.
John Dory "Retour des Indes" (1982)
“This recipe has become a classic at Les Maisons de Bricourt, and that is because it's emblematic, and perhaps even the source, of the long route my cuisine has followed. It also reflects my original love affair with ground spices, fish, and history. It is said that in the eighteenth century, fourteen spices were stored behind the protective ramparts of Saint-Malo. These are the very spices I use in this recipe. Could the gentlemen of Saint-Malo–wealthy shipbuilders who reveled in their vessels' aromatic holds–have invented this dish? Were they familiar with a perfect marriage between the flesh of this princely denizen of the sea and their own world of imported spices? Probably not, but I like to think they were, and to dream of the epic voyage taken by the spices form their own distant and fragrant lands to the rockbound coast of my own region. My actually starts right here at home.”
- Michel Guérard, Les Prés d’Eugénie - Michel Guérard
Michel Guérard, Les Prés d’Eugénie - Michel Guérard
“It's essential to master the techniques and the ideas that come with tradition, to in turn be able to surpass, reinvent or challenge them.”
As a vanguard of nouvelle cuisine, Michel Guérard was part of the radical shift towards lighter, delicate French cooking– a break from traditional techniques and reliance on heavy, rich sauces. At his hotel-restaurant and spa in southern France, he invented cuisine minceur, or slimming cuisine, and has served his healthful food since the 1970s. Without sacrificing impactful flavors, he finely balances taste with nourishment.
Summery Warm Tomato & Basil Tart (1981)
“I was inspired by the very ingenuous method my grandmother Aimée used for fruit tarts. She used to simply lay on a raw square of flaky or shortcrust pastry, fruit that she had just harvested at a splendid maturity from her orchard. She would add a few parcels of salted butter, sprinkle sugar and then put into the baker's oven. She would often say that 'it would be foolish to think this exercise of modest appearance could be achieved by the firstcomer.’”
- Alexandre Gauthier, La Grenouillère
Alexandre Gauthier, La Grenouillère
La Madelaine-sous-Montreuil, France
When Alexandre Gauthier took over his father’s restaurant at the age of 24, he reinvented the classic French menu with an audacious and dynamic style. The wild landscape of the Opal coast serves as his territory to explore, anchoring his cuisine while in dialogue with ideas from beyond. His forward approach is full of contrasts and artistry, resulting in a kind of provocative cooking that spurs discussion.
Red Ravioli (2013)
- Mauro Colagreco, Mirazur *
Mauro Colagreco, Mirazur *
Situated along the Franco-Italian border, between the Alps and Mediterranean Sea, Mirazur is the culinary intersection of its bountiful surroundings. Mauro Colagreco, born in Argentina and trained in France, has developed his own style. Starting with taste, he adds emotion to recreate the landscape in his cooking. Using modern techniques, he constructs dishes that match items found together in nature–evoking both harmony and novelty.
The Forest (2011)
“This dish is a tribute to nature–our reinterpretation of the forest, of the hinterland where we go to pick mushrooms and wild herbs in the woods.”
- Pascal Barbot, Astrance
Pascal Barbot, Astrance
There is no menu at Astrance. Pascal Barbot surprises guests with vibrant dishes that demonstrate his masterful technique and passion for travel. Some have unexpected combinations with spices and flavors from Asia. Others are modern interpretations of familiar flavors. Together, the meal exudes an elegant simplicity that belies the complexity involved to achieve such balance.
Croque Astrance (2011)
- Sven Chartier, Saturne
Sven Chartier, Saturne
Sven Chartier is part of the modern generation of Paris chefs offering high-quality, personal food in a casual space. At Saturne, also the Roman god of agriculture and an anagram of ‘natures,’ he cooks with a type of transparency that lets the pristine ingredients make the boldest statement. The nature of each ingredient remains intact–creating a rustic quality coupled with clean flavors.
- Adeline Grattard, yam’Tcha
Adeline Grattard, yam’Tcha
At yam’Tcha, Adeline Grattard seamlessly merges French and Chinese cooking to produce a subtle dialogue between cultures. Instead of highlighting the pungent fermented qualities of Cantonese cuisine, she chooses to cook with more delicate flavors and perfumes. To complete the experience, guests can also pair the meal with yam’Tcha’s rare selection of teas.
Coco Massala & Red Onion Soup (2014)
“This dish is inspired by the traditional French onion soup and Adeline’s Asian spirit. She decide to upgrade the flavor with the addition of coconut, masala spice, and the use of red onions instead of white. For a more delicate flavor, she substituted the gratin of cheese on top to a side of crunchy croutons with a soft heart of Beaufort cheese.”
- Harald Wohlfahrt, Restaurant Schwarzwaldstube at Hotel Traube Tonbach *
Harald Wohlfahrt, Restaurant Schwarzwaldstube at Hotel Traube Tonbach *
“Only the best is good enough!”
Traube Tonbach is a historic hotel in southwestern Germany that began in 1789 as a tavern catering to lumberjacks of the Black Forest. Their flagship Restaurant Schwarzwaldstube opened in 1977 and has become a training ground for many of Germany’s best chefs. Head chef Harald Wohlfahrt, cooking thoughtful food with technical precision, has upheld their three Michelin stars for over 20 years and continues to be a leader in German haute cuisine.
Anis Marinated Salmon, Caviar of Flying Fish, Cucumber Jelly, Affilla-cress, Pickled Ginger (2010)
- Tim Raue, Tim Raue *
Tim Raue, Tim Raue *
“Curiosity should be your driver, your will, your engine and sovereignty your steering wheel.”
Tim Raue’s guiding principles are creativity, uniqueness, and freedom. His cooking is a nod to Prussia with distinct Asian elements– the simplicity of Japan, bold flavors of Thailand, and Cantonese traditions of Hong Kong. In place of dairy and complex carbs, he uses spiciness, natural sweetness, and acidity to add tension to each lively dish.
Wasabi Lobster (2013)
“Wasabi prawn is a contemporary dish popularized in Singapore at the turn of the century. It combines traditional Cantonese style fried prawns with Japanese wasabi mayonnaise. Because I have no Asian specific roots or boundaries, I add a Thai style vinaigrette to kick it with contrasting flavors.”
- Hans Haas, Tantris
Hans Haas, Tantris
In 1971, Fritz Eichbauer opened a gourmet temple of enjoyment that began a new era in German cuisine and catapulted Munich to the forefront. He teamed up with Chef Eckart Witzigmann on a search for perfection, and together they infused pleasure into the zeitgeist. Heinz Winkler took over the kitchen, followed by the current head chef Han Haas who has continued to deliver consistent excellence for over 20 years.
Turbot Fillet, Egg Yolk, Sauce Mignonette
- Sven Elverfeld, Aqua at The Ritz Carlton
Sven Elverfeld, Aqua at The Ritz Carlton
“Attain your goal with commitment and love for detail.”
Between the smokestacks of the Volkswagen factory and the slick, modern design of the Autostadt, lies Aqua–a small jewel box of a restaurant. Ambitious and open-minded, the cuisine of Sven Elverfeld is a rediscovery of traditional dishes. Juggling flavors and modern techniques, he carefully deconstructs the familiar while remaining open to global influences. Each component is meticulously engineered and when combined, evokes the passion and soul of the region.
Stewed Topside of Veal, Frankfurter Green Sauce, Potato, Egg (2009)
“In this dish, Elverfeld consciously makes an attempt to evoke the memories of their regional roots in his guests.”
- Alex Sanchez, The Table
Alex Sanchez, The Table
Alex Sanchez, a San Francisco native, brings his Bay Area ethos to the Mumbai dining scene. Adapting to the vivid local food culture, he incorporates community dining, urban farming, and a regularly changing menu. When his food is brought back to its origin of inspiration, it illuminates just what can happen when SF style reaches other parts of the world.
Butter Chicken Wings, Pappadam, Green Chutney (2015)
“Butter chicken, also known as Murgh Makhani, is possibly one of the most well known of Indian dishes, while also very likely one of the least understood. Created and developed in the 1950's at Moti Mahal, a famous restaurant in Delhi, butter chicken takes inspiration from its Punjabi roots. While the recipe varies greatly from household to household, city to city, the essential recipe is the combination of a tandoori chicken and a makhani gravy. It is said that the recipe was created as a way to serve day-old tandoori chicken, to moisten it in a luxurious sauce and give it the illusion of being fresh and moist. The gravy is perhaps the most essential component to the dish, and, as previously mentioned, varies greatly. In essence, the gravy is a tomato and onion-based puree with the addition of dried fenugreek leaves and butter or cream. Cashews are often added as well as garam masala, a mixture of ground whole spices (black and green cardamom, bay leaf, clove, star anise, cinnamon, and black pepper). Traditionally, the makhani gravy is regarded as sweet (which comes from the onion) and tangy (which comes from the tomatoes). Once the tandoori chicken is added to the gravy and simmered for some time, the gravy takes on a smoky complexity.
“Our recipe uses the addition of applewood smoke at different phases of the preparation in order to develop the same complexity without the use of a tandoor oven. We also incorporate green chili, chicken stock, and kashmiri chili, all of which are not traditional, but add an extra dimension to the dish. We adapted a similar chicken wing dish currently on The Table's menu for In Situ, giving a slightly more Indian nod. We feel that this execution references what we do at the restaurant while also presenting a familiar Indian recipe in a new way. Our recipe for the butter chicken gravy took months to develop, and we are now proud to say that it is a very traditional, yet refined interpretation of this wonderful, misunderstood classic.”
- Niko Romito, Ristorante Reale
Niko Romito, Ristorante Reale
Castel di Sangro, Italy
Inside of the Casadonna estate, a renovated 16th century convent in Abruzzo, Niko Romito studies and plays with common ingredients. From staples like onions, artichoke, eggplant and saffron, he coaxes personality and forms a cuisine to be understood by all. To further promote Italian cuisine at home and abroad, he also launched the culinary school Niko Romito Formazione, the restaurant-laboratory Spazio, and Unforketable–a series of online video recipes.
Riso, Parmigiano e Limone (2011)
“My ideal risotto [is] a creamy, light dish that does not contain an excessive amount of fat.”
- Riccardo Camanini, Ristorante Lido 84
Riccardo Camanini, Ristorante Lido 84
Gardone Riviera, Italy
With stunning views of the Garda Lake in northern Italy, Lido 84 takes advantage of surrounding fresh fish, produce, and DOP olive oil. Riccardo Camanini takes the guest on a journey through the terroir and traditions of the Lombardy region. Driven by curiosity, he can also find emotion and life within the imperfect.
Spaghettone Butter and Yeast (2014)
“[This dish is about the] natural flavor and taste of the ingredients. It is important to pay attention to the right equilibrium between the butter’s sweetness and the yeast’s acidity. As kids, Italian people start eating spaghetti with only butter.”
- Massimo Bottura, Osteria Francescana *
Massimo Bottura, Osteria Francescana *
“We must continue to evolve our palates and our techniques and remain flexible in the kitchen to new ideas, ingredients and concepts. Only then can we project ourselves into the future and allow our own gastronomic evolution to follow.”
In a culture and time that treasured culinary tradition over experimentation, Massimo Bottura is an iconoclast. To keep Italy’s cultural heritage alive, he reconstructs it by taking abstract concepts–an idea, a story, a memory, a work of art or literature–and capturing them in a single dish. While his point of view is critical, not nostalgic, he masterfully juxtaposes affection with irreverence.
Oops! I Dropped the Lemon Tart (2014)
“The ingredients are a celebration of southern Italy: its abundance of iconic ingredients (lemon and citrus, bergamot, capers, oregano, hot peppers) and flavors as well as the 'broken' condition of that region of Italy.
“The 'broken' plating makes reference to an episode in Osteria Francescana in which the pastry chef, Taka Kondo, dropped one of the tarts–breaking it and the plate. In what could have been a tragic kitchen moment, chef Massimo Bottura saw an opportunity to express the poetry of the everyday. Imperfection leading to perfection of form, content and flavor.”
- Massimiliano Alajmo, Le Calandre
Massimiliano Alajmo, Le Calandre
“Cuisine must undress itself of the superfluous to rediscover the innocence of a child describing his little world.”
A family affair, Le Calandre is helmed by second-generation chef Massimiliano Alajmo. With a sense of discovery, he does not shy away from labor-intensive methods to add nuanced flavor to each plate. Depth, lightness, and fluidity ground his modern style and bring out unique traits in his preparations.
Cuttlefish Cappuccino (1996)
“This dish was initially served in a flat bowl, but it came into its own through transparency. A vertical black and white presentation emphasized by perimetrical memories of the cuttlefish. A game directed at re-evaluating the dignity of humble ingredients. This cappuccino is represented by a basic, sapid taste that can be compared to a tiramisù; the potato plays the role of the mascarpone, and the cuttlefish with its ink that of coffee. Simple and enveloping, it stimulates the salivary glands in a satisfying, almost infantile sensory experience.”
- Gennaro Esposito, Torre del Saracino
Gennaro Esposito, Torre del Saracino
Vico Equense, Italy
“Cook for others as you would want them to cook for you.”
Torre del Saracino, housed in a 7th century watchtower overlooking the Bay of Naples, is contemporary yet steeped in tradition. Gennaro Esposito pays homage to his hometown by showcasing the abundance of seafood and rich agriculture from the fertile soil of nearby Mount Vesuvius. In the spirit of friendship and collaboration, he also organizes the annual Festa a Vico, a joyful gathering of Italian chefs exchanging ideas and sharing food.
Spaghetti al Pomodoro (2011)
- Hiroshi Sasaki, Gion Sasaki *
Hiroshi Sasaki, Gion Sasaki *
“It’s delicious…yet fun!’ are the words that I long to hear from the guests the most.”
Guests at Gion Sasaki can sit along a counter as they watch their meal expertly prepared by Hiroshi Sasaki and his team. Dinner becomes a performance as he presents course after course, some coming from the pizza oven right behind the counter. In a convivial atmosphere, he shares an inventive celebration of Kyoto’s seasons.
Spicy Deep-fried Chicken Wings / Chicken thigh teriyaki with Onsen tamago / Broiled sardine ()
- Hisato Nakahigashi, Miyamasou
Hisato Nakahigashi, Miyamasou
“Cooking is our life, but it doesn’t have to be the life of every one of our customers. Our goal is not just to feed them well, but to enrich their lives with the feeling that the chef is thinking of them and what they want.”
A fourth-generation owner of Miyamasou, Hisato Nakahigashi runs the small ryokan, or inn, that serves travelers on their journey to the Daihizan Bujoji temple. Diners from around the world now make a different type of pilgrimage to taste the restaurant’s tsumikusa (freshly picked) cuisine. With modern methods learned from his time abroad, he cooks with extensive knowledge of the surrounding mountain woods.
Umami Soup, Miso-marinated Wagyu, Asparagus, Inaniwa Udon (2015)
“In recent years, the Japanese concept of umami has spread and been widely appreciated all over the world. I have created this dish to share with you a variety of umami flavors that Japan has to offer.
“The soup, or dashi, is made of kelp, or konbu, and dried skipjack tuna, or katsuobushi. Combining the glutamic acid of the konbu and the inosinic acid of the katsuobushi, which are both umami substances, dashi is not simply 1+1=2, but each umami creates a synergetic effect, causing 1+1=∞. Dashi is also healthy, as it contains almost no calories.
“Accompanying the dashi is Inaniwa udon, a special type of Japanese udon noodle that adds a unique, smooth texture. The asparagus, which contains a large amount of umami called aspartic acid, has been julienned. It is topped with Wagyu beef marinated in miso-yuan. When beef is marinated in miso, its protein dissolves quickly, increasing the amount of amino acids of the beef and thus its umami. Miso also makes the flavorful beef more tender. We have completed the dish with yuzu, or Japanese citrus fruit, which gives the soup a refreshing flavor. In the winter, the dish can be served hot, and in the summer, it can be served cold.”
- Tetsuya Fujiwara, Fujiya1935
Tetsuya Fujiwara, Fujiya1935
Influenced by the theories of chef-neurologist Miguel Sánchez Romera and Professor Toru Fushiki, Tetsuya Fujiwara places as much importance on stimulating the brain as he does the palate. When building each dish, he starts with the potential of each ingredient, but also recognizes the power of memory and past experiences to impact taste. Subtle elements of Spanish cuisine and Japanese ingredients combine to achieve a humble elegance.
Chestnut Pudding with Rum-flavored Coffee Jelly (2005)
“If you go to a mountain village or a countryside in Japan in autumn, the smell of burning ears of rice and dried leaves after harvesting is everywhere. The image of smoke rising up from between the mountains is just what Japanese people envision when they think of autumn. One thing I learned from the Chef at L’Eesguard, whom I worked for while I was in Spain, is that the memory of a scent is tied to the memory of a taste.
In autumn, the smoky fragrance triggers something deep inside the brain which brings forth a feeling of autumn. Therefore, eating chestnuts with smoky fragrance could further evoke the taste or joy of eating chestnuts in the fall.”
- Hajime Yoneda, HAJIME
Hajime Yoneda, HAJIME
“Ever since I opened the restaurant, I’ve been thinking about the seasons, the earth. I’m trying to bring that awareness to my guests through cuisine.”
With a background in engineering and painting, Hajime Yoneda applies an artful precision to each course. In looking beyond the pure deliciousness, the meal becomes a meditation on time and place–sometimes fleeting, beautiful, and filled with life. Absorbing the world through a lens of wonder and curiosity, he invites the guest to explore these themes alongside him.
"Ame" – Sound of Rain (2013)
“This dish expresses the sound of rain. People have a negative image of the rain, but we want guests to look at the positive and smile when they eat it.”
- Seiji Yamamoto, RyuGin
Seiji Yamamoto, RyuGin
“I believe the delicious flavors that are subtle and yet at times powerful, can only flow from authentic ingredients and when experienced with the aroma and warmth of the meal, is a most joyful feeling.”
To Seiji Yamamoto, the pride of his country comes from its wealth in exceptional ingredients. In his role as a chef, he aims to reveal the honest, distinct character of each treasured product. Kaiseki traditions provide the framework to his cooking alongside a methodical use of technology. Although his intentions are elemental, the outcome is groundbreaking.
Japanese Wagyu Beef Sukiyaki Don, Ginger Rice, Soft Boiled Egg (2003)
- Byung Jin Kim, Gaon
Byung Jin Kim, Gaon
Gaon is the brainchild of Tae-Kwon Cho and his daughter Lucia, heads of the Korean ceramics company KwangJuYo. Since its founding in 1963, the company has evolved to include a premium soju line and group of restaurants– all with the goal of elevating Korean dining culture both at home and abroad. Chef Byung Jin Kim explores the elegance and untapped potential of Korean haute cuisine. By changing local perceptions of what traditional food can be, Gaon strives to promote awareness and appreciation.
Jokbal Ssam (2015)
“In modern days, one can easily think of ‘finger food' as small delicacies during a reception or parties– something very haute. However, people eat with their hands on a daily basis (such as sandwiches, tacos, wraps, rolls, etc.) Gaon wanted to offer a ‘common’ dish that is inspired by ‘modern’ behaviors of consumption while offering the most authentic Korean flavors.”
- Esben Holmboe Bang, Maaemo
Esben Holmboe Bang, Maaemo
“I want my cooking to reflect the rugged nature and climate of Norway. I want to create a progressive environment that has an emphasis on the outstanding produce of our region.”
Maaemo, old Norse for “all that is living,” exclusively uses organic, biodynamic, and wild produce from Norway or just outside of Oslo. By limiting the products he works with, Esben Holmboe Bang’s creativity flourishes to produce focused, pure, and bright flavors. Stripping down each ingredient to its essence, he intricately assembles new combinations and takes the guest on a journey through the Norwegian landscape.
Ice Cream of Salted Butter, Hazelnuts, Molasses (2010)
At Maaemo, this dish is made of salted butter from Røros, the northern region of Norway. It was on their opening menu and proved to be extremely popular with their guests. At In Situ, we use organic butter made from the milk of Jersey cows at Spring Hill Farm in Sonoma county.
- Virgilio Martinez, Central
Virgilio Martinez, Central
“We have to travel to see new things from the source, build relationships of trust, hear stories, and see the landscape.”
From the Pacific to the Amazon to the Andes, the menu at Central is a gastronomic tour of Peru’s biodiversity with each course embodying a single ecosystem or altitude. To better understand the environment and share this information with the public, Virgilio Martinez also formed Mater Iniciativa–an interdisciplinary team of researchers traveling to explore, study, and document the origins of indigenous Peruvian ingredients. This fuels the creativity of his cooking–a rediscovery of an ancient culinary history.
Octopus and the Coral (2014)
- Gastón Acurio, La Mar
Gastón Acurio, La Mar
“Peruvian cuisine has three big and very important ingredients–our biodiversity, our cultural diversity, and the pride that Peruvians have for food in their lives.”
As a leading ambassador of Peruvian cuisine, Gastón Acurio is on a mission to share his country’s cultural traditions and gastronomic legacy with the world. His vision may be global, but the impact is local too. With his culinary academy in the underserved area of Pachacutec, he is building the next generation of Peruvian chefs–chefs who will continue to use food as tool for social and economic change.
Cebiche del Amor (2010)
In Peru, cebiche is not only a recipe; it’s a way of expressing friendship, care, and love. This dish includes ingredients that are in its pure, natural state; it’s a tribute to the love to nature.
- Albert Adrià, Tickets *
Albert Adrià, Tickets *
“There are only two kinds of cuisines-good or bad.”
After spending years as the creative powerhouse of El Bulli, widely regarded as the world’s most innovative restaurant, Albert Adrià has created a growing empire of Barcelona restaurants that continues to push ingenuity to new levels. He marries technical complexity and whimsy without compromising soul or substance. Each project, whether rooted in Barcelona or abroad, is a unique spectacle that immerses the diner in his world.
Jasper Hill Farm Cheesecake (2015)
- Andoni Luis Aduriz, Mugaritz *
Andoni Luis Aduriz, Mugaritz *
“At Mugaritz, we’re fascinated by the presentation of subtlety as the loudest voice, by the way intensity is guided by subtlety.”
Dining at Mugaritz requires trust and a willingness to participate in the unpredictable. Andoni Luis Aduriz asks guests to leave their comfort zone and embark on a 24-dish journey that will stimulate, provoke, and ultimately please. To focus on research and creativity, he closes the restaurant for a quarter of each year and abandons convention. The result of constant risk-taking and experimentation, he presents adventure and amusement to captivate all five senses.
Interpretation of Vanity: Moist Chocolate Cake, Cold Almond Cream, Bubbles and Cocoa (2007)
“[This dish is the abstract] idea of ‘vanity’ through a recipe. The gold represents luxury, and the bubbles represent vanity: volume, appearance and the idea of emptiness. We worked on this dish with different scientists from the food research center AZTI-Tecnalia for over a year. The original idea was to create an invisible cloche made of the same ingredients from the recipe. That cloche-bubble would keep the vapor (created from the dish’s heat) in the base. This investigation lead us to this dish. We somehow controlled the technique and decided to take advantage of it to create an empty volume–beautiful and attractive but apparently useless.”
- Juan Mari & Elena Arzak, Arzak
Juan Mari & Elena Arzak, Arzak
San Sebastian, Spain
“It's important to think like a child, because that way we can be surprised. Cooking continues to surprise me, and I try to transmit that feeling in my dishes.”
Established as a tavern in 1897, Arzak evolved into the birthplace of New Basque cuisine during the 70s under the guidance of third-generation chef Juan Mari Arzak. Now joined by his daughter Elena, the duo fuses the spirit of Basque country with research and innovation culminating in the avant-garde style of a culinary auteur. In their laboratory and flavor bank, a vast collection of spices and ingredients, they continue to experiment with cutting-edge techniques.
Mead and Fractal Fluid (2009)
- Carme Ruscalleda, Sant Pau
Carme Ruscalleda, Sant Pau
Sant Pol de Mar, Spain
“My passion for art in music, painting, theatre and cinema shows in my food. For me a plate is similar to a nice song, a piece of good music, a performance on stage or a good film. All these things make you grow inside.”
An hour north of Barcelona in the coastal town of Sant Pol de Mar, Carme Ruscalleda crafts her personal interpretation of Catalan recipes using fresh ingredients from the Maresme region. The neighboring Mediterranean provides inspiration and an abundance of quality seafood. Bridging the home cooking of her childhood with the elegance of fine dining, she playfully balances recognizable flavors with innovative compositions.
Tomato Velvet and Shrimps (2001)
- Petter Nilsson, Spritmuseum
Petter Nilsson, Spritmuseum
“If we only use the exceptional products, we will never give the common ones the chance to get better.”
Following a 15-year stint cooking in France and contributing to the changing Parisian restaurant scene, Petter Nilsson relocated to his native Sweden. At the restaurant, within Stockholm’s Museum of Spirits, he eschews the formalities of high-end gastronomy by offering interesting, personal plates in a casual setting. Careful preparations that highlight seasonal Nordic vegetables take the exclusivity out of eating well.
Salted Herring and Fermented Cream, Potato and Ramsons (2015)
“At the beginning of my career I worked in a old restaurant in the countryside. A dish that was always on the menu was a salted herring dish with leeks and brown butter.
“Up until this year, I have never even thought about it other than in stories about how busy we used to be and how many portions that we used to sell. The version that we used to serve was very simple, and I would even say that certain shortcuts were taken in the production. [This version] has equal parts of past and present and is something where the accompanying beverage can really have an impact. Served with a natural, oxidized mineral wine from Jura, the fermented, salted flavours–alongside the brown butter–develop a luxurious, modern feeling. On the other hand, served with a glass of fresh beer and a Swedish-style bitter spirit of wormwood, conjures a taste of the past.”
- Andreas Caminada, Schloss Schauenstein
Andreas Caminada, Schloss Schauenstein
“Eating shall be a journey involving all senses, leaving a lingering impression.”
Surrounded by mountains and set in a renovated 12th century castle, Schloss Schauenstein is the flagship project and creative vision of Andreas Caminada. With a finely tuned intensity, his ability to balance multiple preparations of a single ingredient displays a versatility and sophistication. The products are often simple and familiar, but used in exciting ways to add texture or achieve harmony.
Lamb Belly, Sea Buckthorn, Jerusalem Artichoke (2015)
“All the components from the dish are regional. The inspiration is based on taste harmony. We made some tests to get a perfect smoky and spicy lamb belly and the final result needed a sour element to balance the dish, which is the sea buckthorn gel and pickled berries. The topinambur adds depth and creaminess. The spiced jus and the pepper pureé give spiciness. And the fresh chives and flowers provide freshness to the dish. All these different details define a pure landscape very well.”
- Lanshu Chen, Le Moût Restaurant
Lanshu Chen, Le Moût Restaurant
Taichung City, Taiwan
“With great belief in the ‘French cuisine,’ I am looking for a new way to interpret what I had learned and felt.”
Lanshu Chen matches her contemporary French training abroad with the Taiwanese flavors of her home. Local delicacies and produce accentuate the classical French techniques that provide the backbone of her cuisine. While her philosophy is rooted in the balance of two cultures, the synthesis is so nuanced and layered that the result is a completely new cuisine de terroir.
Beggar's Chicken, White Eel, Mushrooms, Baby Ferns (2015)
- David Thompson, Nahm
David Thompson, Nahm
“I harken back to the past because there’s where I find my culinary inspiration.”
A savant of Thai flavors, Australia-born David Thompson immersed himself in the culture and culinary history of Thailand. Using old recipe books that date back to the late 19th and early 20th century, he pursues authenticity with a deep appreciation for the cuisine’s complexity and sophistication. Passion and a ceaseless desire to learn have fueled Nahm’s progress and helped shine the spotlight on Bangkok as a culinary destination.
Guinea Fowl Larp Chiang Mai (2011)
- Mehmet Gürs, Mikla
Mehmet Gürs, Mikla
“A new perspective is needed to allow the rich food cultures from the past to survive and evolve. The New Anatolian Kitchen has no boundaries; it is a way of perceiving food, it is a philosophy that can and should be interpreted in many ways.”
Mehmet Gürs is at the forefront of a new school of thought galvanizing Turkey’s contemporary restaurant scene. With the help of a full-time anthropologist, the Scandinavian-Turkish chef scoured the country to find and support artisan producers. By creating a network of independent farmers and sharing his discoveries with other chefs, he pushes the cuisine forward while preserving culinary traditions.
Lamb Shank Mantı, Smoked Yogurt, Sumac (2012)
“Mantı dish has been around for hundreds, if not thousands, of years, We wanted to rework it and see if we could refine this simple dish.”
- Alice Waters, Chez Panisse Restaurant
Alice Waters, Chez Panisse Restaurant
“The act of eating is very political. You buy from the right people, you support the right network of farmers and suppliers who care about the land and what they put in the food.”
A champion of the Slow Food movement, Alice Waters introduced social responsibility into the national conversation surrounding food. Before the words local, sustainable, and seasonal became ingrained in America’s vernacular, Chez Panisse paved the way for California Cuisine with a simple style based on pure ingredients. Investing in the next generation, she established The Edible Schoolyard–an education program that incorporates gardening and empowers youth to take ownership of where their food comes from.
Meyer Lemon Ice Cream and Sherbet (c. 1980)
- Alex Hozven and Kevin Farley, The Cultured Pickle Shop
Alex Hozven and Kevin Farley, The Cultured Pickle Shop
“Naturally fermented foods are their own food group, part of a time-honored tradition in many cultures, and they benefit digestion. They’re vibrant, alive, and they add that zing, zest, or, pow on the plate.”
The Cultured Pickle Shop is a laboratory and workshop of fermentation. Alex Hozven and Kevin Farley expertly feed and tend to their tanks– each filled with individual ecosystems producing sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha, and specialty pickles. Combining a mastery of ancient fermentation techniques with the Bay Area’s diverse produce, they experiment with unique combinations and preserve the fleeting moments of each season.
A Walk Through the Pickle Shop 2015
- Bryant Terry, Afro-Vegan, Vegan Soul Kitchen
Bryant Terry, Afro-Vegan, Vegan Soul Kitchen
“Start with the visceral to ignite the cerebral and end at the political.”
Bryant Terry is an author, food justice activist, and the Museum of African Diaspora’s first Chef in Residence. Tracing the history and spread of African cuisine, he reveals its breadth, vibrancy, and the seminal role it played in the development of other food cultures. Farming provides the foundation for this re-education. By creating community around the table and remixing flavors that honor African Diaspora’s heritage, he gives people the tools to reclaim their health and well-being.
Glazed Carrot Salad (2014)
“This dish is inspired by glazed carrots, which are popular in the Southern region of the United States, and Moroccan carrot salad. The savory coating made up of peanut oil, lemon juice, maple syrup, cinnamon, and cumin is rich, intense, and delicious.”
- Tanya Holland, Brown Sugar Kitchen
Tanya Holland, Brown Sugar Kitchen
“Always cook with soul.”
Having trained in France and cut her teeth in the kitchens of NYC, Tanya Holland brings her diverse repertoire and entrepreneurial spirit to the heart of West Oakland. What started as an idea for a Creole bistro evolved into Brown Sugar Kitchen, her updated interpretation of soul food. Adapting recipes from her past and embellishing local ingredients with intense flavors, she created a community gathering spot and catalyst for revitalizing the neighborhood.
Creole BBQ Shrimp and Grits (2008)
- James Syhabout, Commis
James Syhabout, Commis
“I like to cook with a sense of open-mindedness and playfulness, but also pay homage to the origin or history of the certain cuisine.”
As a follow up to his fine dining flagship Commis, the stage for his inventive and highly personal tasting menu, James Syhabout returned to his roots with Hawker Fare. The restaurant’s Oakland location occupies the former space of the Thai restaurant that his family once ran and channels the northeastern Thai and Laotian food of his youth. From the quiet intelligence of Commis’ minimalism to the lively spirit of Hawker Fare, James brings a distinctive perspective to the Bay Area.
Crisp Squid Ink Crepe, Oyster, Mussel (2015)
“This is a traditional and widely popular street-food cart dish in Thailand, but never made with squid ink. The squid ink adds depth of umami to the dish and also lends itself to sensibilities of the Bay Area with the mussels and oysters.”
- Roy Choi, L.A. Son *
Roy Choi, L.A. Son *
Los Angeles, California
“What if we just took the words ‘Street Food’ and made it a little more abstract? What if it related more to street knowledge, street politics, the streets themselves, the food? What if it wasn’t just the cooking? What if it was the food that fueled the culture and the art?”
Roy Choi takes the elitism out of good food to feed the masses. The classically trained chef broke boundaries when he started Kogi, created the Korean taco, and kicked off the gourmet food truck movement. He has since created an L.A. empire... of unfussy, approachable eateries as outlets of his creativity. After calling out chefs for only serving the privileged, he teamed up with Daniel Patterson to found LocoL. Together, they’ve taken on the challenge of serving wholesome and delicious food that competes with fast food prices.
Kalbi Jjim (2013)
“It's food I grew up on. Similar to a feeling a casserole might have to some.”
- David Kinch, Manresa
David Kinch, Manresa
Los Gatos, California
“Perfection does not exist, but that doesn’t mean you can’t work constantly to attain it.”
David Kinch is a craftsman of the highest order with a comprehensive knowledge of the land. To express a sense of place in his cooking, he collaborates with local farms to capture the ephemeral peak of each season and give his food a dynamic quality. The Santa Cruz Mountains and California coast set the scene for an American cuisine influenced by an earnest respect for European tradition with an affinity for Japanese details.
A Summer Tidal Pool (2008)
“This dish was inspired by the effect of water and tides along the rocky reefs of our California Coast– ebb and flow, light and shadows, and a sense of movement and nature we attempt to convey in the bowl redolent of the sea.”
- Daniel Patterson, Coi
Daniel Patterson, Coi
San Francisco, California
“My ideas about deliciousness involve food that follows these principles: fresh and light; concentrated and balanced flavors; plants more than animals; and, in a metaphysical sense, food with energy and life.”
As an outspoken voice of California Cuisine, Daniel Patterson has developed a thoughtful style of cooking that articulates his sensitivity towards nature’s subtle variations. Wild, foraged plants act as an evocative foil for the concentrated flavors of California produce. Known for his use of essential oils and aromas, he forged a new path that connected food with emotions. In a revolutionary shift from fine dining to fast food, he also co-founded LocoL with Roy Choi–creating wholesome food without sacrificing taste or affordability.
Earth and Sea (2008)
- Cecilia Chiang, The Mandarin
Cecilia Chiang, The Mandarin
San Francisco, California
“I wanted to serve real Chinese food. I knew I could do better than chop suey.”
Cecilia Chiang is the legendary restaurateur credited with revolutionizing Chinese food in America. Born in 1920, she was displaced from Beijing by the Japanese occupation and eventually made her way to San Francisco’s Chinatown. Disheartened by the Americanized Cantonese food that appeared on every menu, she opened The Mandarin in 1961 to serve the northern Chinese cuisine of her home. While she sold the restaurant in the early 90s, she continues to be an active mentor and guards the knowledge of a bygone era.
- Anthony Myint, Mission Street Food *
Anthony Myint, Mission Street Food *
San Francisco, California
“People talk about buying locally and things like that, but there are other ways that the food system interacts with the climate.”
Anthony Myint is a chef and restaurateur challenging conventions of the restaurant industry and reimagining its role in the community. Pairing delicious food with a benevolent business model, all of his projects donate a portion of sales to charitable organizations. Mission Street Food began as a pop-up food truck, evolved into Mission Chinese Food, and has given birth to a number of restaurants including Commonwealth and most recently The Perennial–a pioneer for developing restaurant environmental best practices. To more directly engage with climate change, he also co-founded the non-profit ZeroFoodprint, helping restaurants reduce and offset their carbon emissions.
Apocalypse Burger (2016)
“This spin on a burger is a reference to my cheeky junk food origins and my current interest in the carbon footprint of food. The concept is a provocatively dystopic trompe l'oeil of a ‘burger’ made to look like charcoal briquettes. The dish is an allusion to the backyard barbecue–the iconic symbol of American leisure and wastefulness–with the briquette serving as the physical embodiment of carbon, stored prior to release into the atmosphere.”
$1 from each burger goes towards food related carbon offsets through ZeroFoodprint.
- Chad Robertson, Tartine
Chad Robertson, Tartine
San Francisco, California
“The mixing, fermenting and baking, all of those things should work in balance so you end up with something that transcends the simplicity of its ingredients.”
Chad Robertson’s effect on the craft of bread making can be felt around the world. To achieve his signature crust, toothsome air bubbles, and custard-like interior, he has immersed himself in every step of the process–from seed to loaf– while developing groundbreaking techniques that explore a variety of whole and sprouted grains. Through collaboration and sharing, he achieves deep flavors and inspires others to build on what he creates.
- Christopher Kostow, The Restaurant At Meadowood
Christopher Kostow, The Restaurant At Meadowood
St. Helena, California
“There is nothing more thrilling than knowing that matsutakes are ending or that watercress has begun flowering in the creek. I cook at the whim of the ingredients around me.”
In the heart of wine country, Christopher Kostow creates a singular experience that celebrates the growers, foragers, and artisans of his community. As a steward of this place and these products, he takes a methodical approach to each dish, collectively adding to the cultural depth of the Napa Valley. With events like their annual series of collaborative dinners, the restaurant has both strong ties to the community as well as a global reach.
Poussin Baked in Bread (2013)
- Thomas Keller, The French Laundry
Thomas Keller, The French Laundry
“When you acknowledge, as you must, that there is no such thing as perfect food, only the idea of it, then the real purpose of striving toward perfection becomes clear: to make people happy, that is what cooking is all about.”
Thomas Keller is a founding father of American fine dining and mentor to a generation of chefs. Rooted in French classics, his food cleverly elevates familiar combinations with a use of high quality ingredients and an impeccable execution. The set of core values that he instills in his team is marked by a fierce attention to detail and generosity. Over 20 years later, The French Laundry continues to evolve while remaining a timeless pillar of America’s culinary heritage.
Pan Roasted Liberty Duck Breast, French Green Lentils, Caramelized Apples, Glazed Root Vegetables And Aged Red Wine Vinegar Sauce (1995)
“The dish is inspired by southwestern French culinary heritage. It represents simplicity and honest cooking, all the while showcasing the quality of the ingredients and the depth of flavor inherent to this cuisine.”
- Tory McPhail, Commander’s Palace
Tory McPhail, Commander’s Palace
New Orleans, LA
“All of our best meals are still ahead of us.”
Dating back to the late 1800s, Commander’s Palace is a New Orleans institution and window into the city’s past. Tory McPhail pays respect to old favorites, and keeps the landmark relevant by adding to the canon of Haute Creole cuisine. A mix of nostalgic Louisiana charm with a modern sensibility makes the restaurant an enduring national icon.
Shrimp & Tasso Henican (1990)
“[This is a] quintessential New Orleans dish that hits on all the flavors of Louisiana. When you combine the flavors of sweet, sour, salty, peppery, and bitter, your palate never gets tired. Pair with that all local ingredients from Louisiana, and you get a timeless new classic dish.”
- Carlo Mirarchi, Blanca
Carlo Mirarchi, Blanca
Brooklyn, New York
In an industrial neighborhood of Bushwick, Carlo Mirarchi helped amass an urban oasis: Roberta’s pizza place and bakery, a rooftop garden, and the Heritage Radio Network housed in a shipping container out back. What began as a tasting menu at Roberta’s naturally evolved into its own 12-seat space across the yard known as Blanca. Guests sit along a single counter with a view of Mirarchi’s culinary playground while served his gutsy, yet meticulous menu.
Seaweed and Honeycomb (2014)
- Anita Lo, Annisa
Anita Lo, Annisa
New York City
“I don't really believe in ‘authentic,’ and I think everything is ‘fusion.’ I mean, who am I? That's my identity.”
Annisa, named after the Arabic word for women, is the expression of Anita Lo’s multicultural upbringing and love of travel. French cuisine, something she fell in love with while studying abroad, provides the frame of her menu, but the flavors are not bound to any one culture. Her food is an intersection of global ingredients, yet she manages to maintain a singular voice.
Butter Poached Maine Lobster with Spinach, Shiitake and Leek Rice Noodle Rolls (1996)
“[This was] created when I was the chef at Mirezi, a pan-Asian restaurant in the mid 90s, as an Asian homage to a dish we served when I was a cook at the then 4-star NYC restaurant Chanterelle. I also served it at the White House state dinner honoring China's president Xi Jinping in September of 2015.”
- Daniel Boulud, Daniel *
Daniel Boulud, Daniel *
New York City
“My connection to food is human and humble. I am a chef with soul: an American chef with a French soul or a French chef with an American soul. I have both influences in me, and that’s what keeps me grounded.”
Born in Lyon, Daniel Boulud opened the eponymous New York icon in 1993. With grace and polish, he blends rustic and refined French cooking to translate traditional culinary experiences in modern recipes. Some of America’s most celebrated chefs have passed through his kitchens and credit him as an important influence. Boulud remains an authority on French cuisine with Restaurant Daniel a paragon of luxury and elegance.
Maine Sea Scallops "Black Tie" (1986)
“When I started at Le Cirque, I wanted to find some new dishes, and this one went through a bit of an evolution. It started without the crust—just layers of scallop and truffles, cooked gently and served with a little bit of spinach in a truffle beurre blanc. It was a very pure and simple appetizer. But then, for New Year’s Eve in '87, I upped the game a little bit. Instead of putting spinach on the plate with the simple layered scallops and truffle, I put the spinach around the scallops after it was sliced and layered it with the truffle, and then I put that into a very thin crust of puff pastry. In terms of technique, that dish was amazing because it was a question of cooking the puff pastry just enough to warm up the scallops inside and get a beautiful crust on the outside. And so this recipe, in its second version, became an instant classic, and we never changed it after that. Every year at Daniel, for New Year’s Eve, we make the Black Tie—[the name refers to the fact that] everyone comes in a black tie, and the dish is black and white.”
- Dominique Ansel, Dominique Ansel Kitchen
Dominique Ansel, Dominique Ansel Kitchen
New York City
“Baking is bringing happiness to people—happiness and emotions—and hopefully having them spread it around.”
When Dominique Ansel invented the Cronut, he launched a cultural phenomenon that spread worldwide. Not resting on his laurels, he constantly develops fanciful new desserts evoking childhood memories embedded in our national consciousness. By day, Dominique Ansel Kitchen specializes in made-to-order pastries. By night, it’s the host of U.P. (short for unlimited possibilities), a themed dessert tasting menu.
Sage Smoked Dark Chocolate Brownie (2015)
“The dark brownie recipe is an extra fudgy one that is a staff favorite. It was inspired by summer camp and the smells of the campfire in the forest. A dessert is never just about a list of ingredients for us, but always a moment and time.”
- Daniel Humm, Eleven Madison Park
Daniel Humm, Eleven Madison Park
New York City
“All my years in a kitchen have taught me that there is more to cuisine than complexity, and that restraint can be even more difficult to realize, but the results can be incredibly beautiful.”
In collaboration with his dining room counterpart and co-owner Will Guidara, Daniel Humm transformed Eleven Madison Park from a French brasserie into a fine dining destination that champions the ingredients and culinary narrative of New York. Gracious hospitality and passion add a human quality to the superbly curated tasting menu that carefully walks the line between innovation and soul.
Carrot Tartare (2013)
“I wanted to create our very own steak tartare - one that was unique and memorable, but still paid tribute to the classic. But how could we attempt to top the original?
“My answer was delivered, literally, in a crate of bright red, yellow, and orange carrots, a gift from the very talented farmer, Alex Paffenroth from Warwick, New York. That day, I was still struggling to complete the tartare dish, but had taken a moment to unpack these beautiful ingredients, so perfect and vibrant.
“Then, I happened to glance at the kitchen’s large meat grinder sitting on its stainless steel table. It is a cold, dangerous, and almost surgical instrument. The juxtaposition between these vegetables fresh from the black earth and this machine was the inspiration I needed.“
- David Chang, Momofuku Ssäm Bar
David Chang, Momofuku Ssäm Bar
New York City
“I know my place in the whole culinary world. I’m a classicist at heart. The only reason we carved out this niche is that there was no room for me there. I had to find another path.”
Many traits of today’s hybrid casual-fine dining restaurant model can be traced back to tastemaker David Chang and the Momofuku empire. In reaction to the conventions of fine dining, he applied ambitious execution to traditionally lowbrow dishes, injecting umami-filled Asian flavors laced with irreverence. The offshoot epicurean journal Lucky Peach has become an authoritative resource for culinary storytelling and space for candid discussions about the food industry.
Spicy Pork Sausage & Rice Cakes (2007)
From Lucky Peach Issue 15. Copyright Lucky Peach, May 2015.
“In 2006 mapo tofu was pretty much the only food I was eating. I’d pick it up from Grand Sichuan, which had just opened on St. Marks Place, and eat it at Ssäm Bar, which was just getting going at the time.
“Joshua McFadden was in the kitchen then—he had been staging at Del Posto before joining up. If this were a music documentary about the creation of a hit song instead of a popular dish, he would have been the person who came up with the beat. He combined a Sichuan chili sauce with a mix of Italian ragu ingredients. I remember him struggling at the time; he wanted to contribute. And it was right there: I remember tasting it and being like, Holy shit, this guy just did a Chinese ragu.
“And then everybody started to chime in. Tim Maslow was like, Oh, we need some texture, and then the fried shallots went on top. And then I was like, We should add the whipped tofu as a kind of dairy-like component. (We always had leftover whipped tofu around because no one was buying our burritos, which used it.) And then it dawned on me: Oh shit, this is mapo tofu, and it went on the menu. Without everybody’s parts in it, it never would have happened.”
- Ann Redding and Matt Danzer, Uncle Boons
Ann Redding and Matt Danzer, Uncle Boons
New York City
Uncle Boons attempts to be neither an exploration of Thai regional cuisine, nor an authoritative take on Thailand’s greatest hits. Instead, Anne Redding and Matt Danzer cook the food they want to eat using methods from their gourmet background. Each dish is anchored by a skilled grasp of Thai mother sauces. Inspired by annual trips to visit Ann’s family–often including endless feasts with her uncle Boon–they offer an idiosyncratic take on their favorite dishes.
Gaeng Som Talay (2014)
- Wylie Dufresne, wd~50
Wylie Dufresne, wd~50
New York City
“I was just looking for answers to questions, and the traditional answers were inadequate. ‘Why are we doing it this way?’ The answers are, ‘Because it works,’ ‘Because that’s how we’ve always done it,’… but those answers were ultimately unsatisfactory and so I had learned how to cook, but I didn’t know why to cook.”
The pioneering techniques and knowledge that emerged from wd~50 have immensely added to our understanding of cooking. Wylie Dufresne playfully deconstructs and reconfigures the fundamentals that many never thought to question. One can make few assumptions from reading a dish’s title or list of ingredients. More like references in scare quotes, they are simply a point of departure.
Shrimp Grits, Pickled Jalapeño (2013)
- Dan Barber, Blue Hill at Stone Barns
Dan Barber, Blue Hill at Stone Barns
Pocantico Hills, New York
“Chefs are powerful because we are curators of what's truly delicious; we're driven by pleasure. The sustainable food movement is about hedonism, A to Z: Be greedy. Be greedy for great food when you know that it was grown in the right way.”
Dan Barber is committed to radically changing the way America eats and farms. Through the Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture, his restaurant, and writings, he educates the public about the layered issues of food waste and soil depletion. Not limited to lofty philosophical ideals, he teaches by doing, providing a practical model for others to replicate.
Beef Fat Aged Vegetables
- Joshua McFadden, Ava Gene’s
Joshua McFadden, Ava Gene’s
Joshua McFadden has come to be known for his exquisite treatment of vegetables. The legacy of the infamous kale salad he created at Fanny’s may still linger, but his rustic, Roman inspired cooking at Ava Gene’s goes far beyond. With an honest transparency that highlights the product’s natural goodness, he doesn’t take any shortcuts. Through an Italian lens, the menu is a tribute to the bountiful Pacific Northwest.
Borlotti Bean, Rosemary, Garlic, Pane (2013)
- Sean Brock, Husk
Sean Brock, Husk
Charleston, South Carolina
“Cuisine is two things, culture and ingredients . . . Making this connection keeps the narrative of both traditions alive. It brings us together, and forges an understanding that has the potential to change Lowcountry cooking forever.”
Tracing the foodways of Southern cooking back to West Africa, Sean Brock is reviving crops from a time when taste championed the efficiency and convenience of industrial agriculture. Collecting heirloom seeds, he works with farmers, historians, and plant geneticists to cultivate near-extinct varieties. Each ingredient is given proper attention to tell the story and lessons learned from the people who lived there.
Brown Oyster Stew with Benne and Charleston Ice Cream (2009)
From Heritage. Copyright Artisan 2014.
“Gullah people of West African origin often cooked rice using a one pot method known as ‘soaked rice,’ where the rice is simmered covered with twice its volume of water for about twelve minutes and then left to sit without lifting the lid for at least another fifteen or twenty minutes. Some Charlestonians call this the ‘no-peek’ style, and it works well with most commercial brands of long grain rice. True Carolina Gold rice takes a good bit more effort, but the result is the subtle flavors of the rice at their finest. We serve Carolina Gold simply, in bowls, with a dollop of good butter, scattered with herbs and flowers that are in season at the time. Because of its creamy texture, this has been called ‘Charleston ice cream’ for hundreds of years–plus it can be scooped.”
- Cassidee Dabney, The Barn at Blackberry Farm
Cassidee Dabney, The Barn at Blackberry Farm
“On the farm, our goal is to cultivate the bounty around us by harnessing the natural systems at play.”
Nestled against the foothills of the Smoky Mountains, The Barn is the centerpiece of Blackberry Farm’s dining program and passion project of the beloved, late Sam Beall. Under his leadership, the family estate became a culinary destination renowned for the collective of artisans that fuel Blackberry Farm’s remarkable self-sufficiency and supply The Barn with bespoke ingredients. With epicurean events and visiting chefs, the farmstead-resort is part of the dialogue that is shaping our culinary landscape.
Slow Cooked Farm Egg with Smoked Sunburst Trout, Crispy Potato and Chive (2010)
- Chris Shepherd, Underbelly
Chris Shepherd, Underbelly
“Underbelly was built to share the story of Houston food with our guests. It is our hope that those who visit Underbelly will feel inspired to further engage our community and better understand what a special place Houston is.”
Chris Shepherd’s New American Creole cuisine adopts the idea of blending diverse cultures with local ingredients and applies it to another port city– Houston. Influences from the burgeoning immigrant populations of Vietnam, Korea, India, and Latin America enrich his farm-to-table ethos and whole-animal butchery. With respect and appreciation for those that inspire him, he is a vocal supporter the local food scene, encouraging guests to seek out what the underrated city has to offer.
Cha Ca Style Snapper (2015)
“Underbelly is a restaurant inspired by the diverse cultures of Houston, a city that has one of the largest Vietnamese populations in the country. Chef Chris Shepherd traveled to Vietnam in early 2015 to better understand these flavors that exist in Houston and to taste Vietnamese food in its place of origin. One dish, Cha Ca, which he tried at Hanoi's famous, hundred-year-old restaurant Cha Ca La Vong, inspired this dish. The ingredients are plentiful in Houston, and it's quickly become one of Underbelly's most popular dishes.”
- Nathan Myhrvold, Modernist Cuisine *
Nathan Myhrvold, Modernist Cuisine *
“We aren’t just trying to do our grandma’s recipes. We’re trying to focus on understanding the scientific basis for what is this thing we call cooking.”
Nathan Myhrvold, the retired chief strategist and technology officer of Microsoft, is a visionary renaissance man with a passion for cooking. In his warehouse of mad science, he takes an analytical approach to collect, photograph, and compile his findings into an encyclopedia of food science. It’s immense scope and highly visual presentation make a valuable resource and demonstrate that all cooking is technically molecular.
Caramelized Carrot Soup (2011)
“Adding sodium hydroxide (lye) to pretzels creates a slightly alkaline or ‘basic’ environment which allows caramelization reactions to flourish and gives pretzels their rich brown color. Nathan Myhrvold was inspired by this process. Instead of lye, he uses baking soda to create a slightly alkaline environment. The carrots are cooked with butter and salt in a pressure cooker so that they can caramelize at higher temperatures without drying out. The result is a rich caramelized carrot flavor.”
- Blaine Wetzel, The Willows Inn on Lummi Island *
Blaine Wetzel, The Willows Inn on Lummi Island *
Lummi Island, Washington
“We don’t have this incredibly rich culinary tradition. What we do have is pretty amazing resources to kind of craft that ourselves.”
On a quiet, nine-square-mile island, Blaine Wetzel has immersed himself in the fertile landscape and diverse ecosystems of the Puget Sound region. Adapting to nature’s dynamic conditions and paying close attention to its subtle changes, his menu is completely in sync with the seasons, boasting the great abundance of such a small area. The intelligence, grace, and sincerity of his cooking beautifully compliment the dreamy surroundings.
Crepes and Grilled Onions (2013)
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