Paul Bertolli (FraíMani)
After presiding over the esteemed Bay Area restaurants Chez Panisse and Oliveto, Paul Bertolli left the kitchen for a factory in Berkeley, California. There he and his crew churn out enough high-caliber salami to supply hundreds of gourmet markets. But donít be alarmed by the volume. Bertollieducated by old-school Tuscan butchers and Iowa State Universityís meat-science programuses only hogs humanely raised in the Midwest.
Herb and Kathy Eckhouse (La Quercia)
San Daniele and Parma are the regions usually associated with the best prosciutto in the world. Now, thanks to Herb and Kathy Eckhouse, itís time to add another: Iowa. Herbís job took the couple to Parma for a few years, and they returned with a passion. In 2005, in a factory in Norwalk, Iowa, they began curing the meat of locally raised heirloom pigs. Pork-enthusiast chefs Michel Richard and Mario Batali now serve La Quercia prosciutto at their restaurants.