GAYOT.com Top 5 Rising Chefs in the U.S.

by Sophie Gayot


We have to nurture the younger generation as we rely on them for our future. Since the same is true when it comes to our palates, we recognize and reward five young chefs on the rise every year as part of GAYOT’s Annual Restaurant Issue. See who the winners are this year, and check out the rest of the issue. Watch my exclusive video interview with Top Chef contestant season 9 Chris Crary who made the list, after a very promising dinner he had prepared recently.


Other lists and features included in this year’s issue:
Top 40 Restaurants in the U.S. – a tribute to the finest dining destinations in America

Top 10 New Restaurants in the U.S. – great places that opened recently
Top 10 Steakhouses in the U.S. – which chefs serve the best steak?
Top 10 Romantic Restaurants in the U.S. – appearing in the Restaurant Issue for the very first time
Top 10 Insider Picks in the U.S. – reveals where to dine for a taste of local flavor, good food and good times
and the U.S. Best Restaurateur of the Year.

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A TOP Chef, for Sure

by Sophie Gayot


My assistant has typed up hundreds of photo captions of menu items. But after typing the captions for the gallery below, he couldn’t help but comment for the first time, “That menu seems very interesting.” He is right. And more than that, the wild game menu created by Chris Crary, chef de cuisine at Whist at the Viceroy Santa Monica, was creative, intelligent and sexy; pretty much what we look for when we go out for a fine dining experience.


By chance, the evening of the dinner was right after Chris Crary was voted off season 9 of the TV show Top Chef, where he was competing. Trust me, the dinner I enjoyed was created by a chef who is at the top of his game. I foresee a great future for Crary!

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Krug & Train

Nobu Matsuhisa, his chefs & Sophie Gayot
Nobu Matsuhisa, his chefs & Sophie Gayot

by Sophie Gayot


Just so you’re not confused by the headline, this blog is not about a train powered by Krug Champagne or even drinking Krug while riding on a train. It’s about listening to the group Train performing live while drinking Krug Champagne during Saturday night’s Los Angeles Food & Wine event, which left quite an unforgettable memory.


Earlier that tasty night, many top chefs served their food to the appreciative crowd. The choices of food (and wines) were vast and very different, as were the participating toques: Joachim Splichal & Tony Esnault (Patina, GAYOT.com Top 40 Restaurant in the US), Paul Prudhomme (K-Paul Louisiana Kitchen, GAYOT 2011 Top 10 Insider Picks in the US), Christopher Kostow (The Restaurant at Meadowood, GAYOT.com Top 40 Restaurant in the US), Hugo Bolanos (CUT, GAYOT.com 2011 Top 10 Steakhouses in the US), and 2011 Top Chef on Top Chef Masters Floyd Cardoz (North End Grill). Lines were very long in front of Lydia Shire (Towne Stove & Spirits); and Akasha Richmond (Akasha), who served a delicious braised American lamb (word spread fast). Also popular was Drew Nieporent & Stephen Lewandowski’s choucroute (Tribeca Grill, Alsatian chefs should be jealous of the recipe). Chef Ben Ford (Ford’s Filling Station) got help serving from his son Eaton.

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Red, Hot & French

by Sophie Gayot

 

It was indeed hot during the Amateur Competition at Les Etoiles de Mougins, the 6th Festival International de la Gastronomie recently held in Mougins, France. The sun was shining, so the temperature under the tent was hot, as was the ambience. It became hotter when it came time for the members of the jury — including me — to deliberate, as we did not agree on who should win. Besides myself, the rest of the jury were chefs: Serge Gouloumès (Le Mas Candille), Sébastien Chambru (Le Moulin de Mougins), Christopher Hache (Les Ambassadeurs), Christelle Brua (Le Pré Catelan), Claire Verneuil (contestant on the 2011 season of the French Masterchef TV show), and the President of the jury, Frédéric Anton (Le Pré Catelan), who is also on the jury of the French version of the TV show MasterChef.

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And Chef Jeff Mahin Re-Invents Pizza

by Sophie Gayot


UPDATE 05/13: Stella Rossa Pizza Bar has changed its name to Stella Barra.

When I read the bio of chef Jeff Mahin, I was intrigued. By the age of 27, he had trained at The Fat Duck in England, Nobu in New York and Arzak in Spain. Mahin is now making pizzas in Santa Monica, Calif., for the reputable restaurant group Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises (among 41 dining concepts, they own Everest, a 2011 GAYOT.com Top 40 US Restaurant, and L2O, a 2010 GAYOT.com Top 40 US Restaurant). He is also a partner in the company. I decided to head to Stella Rossa Pizza Bar and see what these pizzas were all about.

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