Yes, They Are Incredibly Talented Chefs Who Are Shaping the Future of Food, but This Year’s Class Also Exemplifies What It Means to Be a Leader Today.
(NEW YORK, NY, and ASPEN, CO; September 9, 2021) — Meredith Corporation‘s (NYSE: MDP) FOOD & WINE unveils its 33rd class of Best New Chefs, spotlighting the 11 most promising up-and-coming chefs who are reinventing the restaurant experience with innovative food and leadership styles that are compassionate and community-oriented. Profiles of the 2021 Best New Chefs, along with their favorite spots to eat and drink in the cities they call home, are featured now at foodandwine.com/bestnewchefs and in the October issue of FOOD & WINE, on newsstands September 17.
“Since 1988, our editors have sought out the most exciting up-and-coming culinary talent in America. The first class included future luminaries like Thomas Keller and Daniel Boulud. We’re confident that this year’s class will also leave their stamp on American cuisine,” said FOOD & WINE Editor in Chief Hunter Lewis. “All the more remarkable for delivering excellence during a pandemic that has gutted the industry, the 2021 Best New Chefs represent some of the most dynamic cooking in the country, and they are leading with respect, intent on changing the culture of restaurants for those who work in them as well as for those who dine.”
FOOD & WINE BEST NEW CHEFS IN AMERICA 2021
- Blake Aguillard and Trey Smith, Saint-Germain, New Orleans
- Angel Barreto, Anju, Washington, D.C.
- Thessa Diadem, All Day Baby, Los Angeles
- Matt Horn, Horn Barbecue, Oakland, California
- Ji Hye Kim, Miss Kim, Ann Arbor, Michigan
- Carlo Lamagna, Magna Kusina, Portland, Oregon
- Gaby Maeda, State Bird Provisions, San Francisco
- Fermín Núñez, Suerte, Austin
- Lucas Sin, Nice Day and Junzi Kitchen, New York City
- Paola Velez, Bakers Against Racism, Washington, D.C.
FOOD & WINE chooses the Best New Chefs after a monthslong selection process. F&W editors solicited nominations from food writers, cookbook authors, Best New Chef alums, and other trusted experts around the country. Then, Restaurant Editor Khushbu Shah spent seven jam-packed weeks traveling the country and dining out in search of most impressive, promising chefs and the most dynamic cooking right now. Chefs who have been in charge of a kitchen for five years or less are eligible. To learn more about this year’s selection process, check out The Road to the 2021 Class of FOOD & WINE Best New Chefs video that chronicles this year’s selection process featuring insights from Shah about her experience, and goes behind-the-scenes as the chefs learn that they’ve been named to this distinguished list.
As Shah wrote in the Best New Chefs feature story: “This is an industry that was built on a shaky foundation, and the global pandemic put a spotlight on every single crack. But through these cracks, real leadership emerged. Leadership that prioritizes the safety and needs of employees over the whims of customers. Leadership that centers local communities, providing groceries and hot meals for those in need. Leadership that still turns out exceptional cooking that manages to comfort and delight even when the odds are stacked against them…From coast to coast, the 2021 class of Best New Chefs is reinventing what it means to lead in the kitchen while cooking the food that matters to them most. Restaurants may no longer look the same, but with this class of chefs at the helm, I am excited to see—and eat—what the future holds.”
FOOD & WINE is celebrating this year’s Best New Chefs today at the FOOD & WINE Classic in Aspen, where the entire 2021 class will come together with the 2020 class for the first time at a special evening event. In support of the new class, FOOD & WINE will also be hosting the Best New Chef Mentorship Program, which will also kick off at the F&W Classic this weekend. The programming will focus on leadership and best business practices, along with sessions about prioritizing mental health and relationships. Members of the 2021 class will also be paired with Best New Chef alums and other veteran chefs for yearlong mentorships. For ongoing coverage of the BNC Mentorship Program and other stories about leadership in the food and beverage industry, visit F&W Pro.
The Best New Chefs 2021 event taking place this evening at the FOOD & WINE Classic in Aspen is sponsored by S.Pellegrino, J Vineyards & Winery, Santa Teresa Rum, and Monogram Luxury Appliances.
For more than 30 years, this prestigious award has recognized star chefs early in their careers, such as Daniel Boulud (’88), Nancy Silverton (’90), Tom Colicchio (’91), Michael Symon (’98), Dan Barber (’02), David Chang (’06), Stephanie Izard (’11), Angie Mar (’17), and Kwame Onwuachi (’19).
About FOOD & WINE
FOOD & WINE is the ultimate authority on the best of what’s new in food, drink, travel, design, and entertaining. FOOD & WINE has an extensive social media following on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube. FOOD & WINE includes a monthly magazine in print and digital; a website, foodandwine.com; a books division; plus newsletters, clubs, events, dinnerware, cookware, and more. At FOOD & WINE, we inspire and empower our wine- and food-obsessed community to eat, drink, entertain, and travel better—every day and everywhere. FOOD & WINE is part of Meredith Corp.’s (NYSE: MDP: Meredith.com) portfolio of best-in-class brands.