Meet America's 5 Best Young Chefs

Meet the new wave of culinary innovators.


Illustrations by Matt Collins

Blaine Wetzel, 25

Restaurant: Willows Inn Dining Room; Lummi Island, Washington

Pedigree: Spent two years at Copenhagen's Noma, twice voted the world's best restaurant.

Food: Wetzel sources from the inn's four farmers, the island's Native American tribe, and Puget Sound, home to the king salmon he serves with a beurre blanc of the fish's bones, capers, and beach plants.


Illustrations by Matt Collins

Perry Hoffman, 27

Restaurant: Étoile; Yountville, California

Pedigree: Part of the family that owned the French Laundry before selling it to Thomas Keller.

Food: The Michelin-starred phenom applies French methods to local ingredients—like rabbit tenderloin wrapped with rabbit mousse and bacon, seared, and topped with wild pea shoots and a pheasant egg.


Illustrations by Matt Collins

Casey Lane, 28

Restaurant: The Tasting Kitchen; Venice, California

Pedigree: Learned the ropes at the seminal Portland, Oregon, eateries Clarklewis and Bluehour.

Food: Italian with French touches, plus on-site curing and butchering, results in a frenetic menu of slow-food triumphs like beef tartare with cornichon gelée, and tagliarini with squid and peppers.


Illustrations by Matt Collins

Bryce Gilmore, 28

Restaurant: Barley Swine; Austin, Texas

Pedigree: Cooked in top kitchens like Aspen's Montagna and San Francisco's Boulevard.

Food: Texas ingredients are elevated in his chicken-fried duck confit with foie gras waffles, and grilled pork cheeks with soft-boiled egg and potatoes.


Illustrations by Matt Collins

Jesse Schenker, 28

Restaurant: Recette; New York City

Pedigree: Worked alongside stars like Gray Kunz, Jonathan Benno, and Gordon Ramsay.

Food: French technique in the back, Pearl Jam-soundtracked party out front. Offerings include corn custard with Parmesan tuile, corn velouté, foie terrine, bacon drippings, and pickled shallots.

By Howie Kahn

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