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Best New Chefs 2012

Cookwork Perspective: Food & wine magazine has named its Best New Chefs for 2012. See the path that has led each of them to this honor.


Erik Anderson and Josh Habiger

Exciting, approachable cooking with a Southern accent. Says Anderson, “If you get gorgeous grass-fed meat and destroy it, what good is farm-to-table?”



Danny Grant

Crafting subtle and sophisticated flavor combinations. “Some people get so hung up on the way things look, they forget the most important part.”



Dan Kluger

Farm-fresh produce meets culinary luxury. “I met ABC Kitchen co-owner Jean-Georges Vongerichten at the farmers’ market. Before I knew it, I was interviewing for the job.”



Corey Lee

Asian-inspired flavors from a French Laundry alum. “Every chef feels like they need to tell a story with their food. Sometimes food doesn’t need a story—it becomes very contrived.”



Jenn Louis

Honest, delicious, sustainable cuisine. “I don’t like too many ingredients or ideas jammed together. You lose the individual ingredients; they can’t be appreciated.”


Cormac Mahoney

Interpreting global cuisine with heart and humor. “I want to put out food that has the effect of the meal in Like Water for Chocolate.”




Bryant Ng

Marrying South Asian street food with California cuisine. “When I visited Singapore as a child, it had a grimy soulfulness you could only get from eating on the street.”


Karen Nicolas

Creatively shaking up one of DC’s iconic power restaurants. “In high school home ec class, my teacher pulled me aside and said, ‘You’re very good at this.’”



Rich Torrisi & Mario Carbone

Respecting and reinventing New York’s culinary state of mind. Says Torrisi, “What is there not to love about New York City?”



Blaine Wetzel

Hyper-locavorism in the Pacific Northwest. “People see chefs run out to the smokehouse, grab fish and then, a few minutes later, it’s on the plate in front of them.”

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