L.A. has a winner among Food & Wine's Best New Chefs
This evening Food & Wine magazine will toast the winners of their 24th(!) annual Best New Chefs award. Every year the editors, along with food writers and restaurant critics, pick 10 promising young chefs from across the country.
This year Southern California has one winner: Bryant Ng of the Spice Table in Little Tokyo, cited for marrying Southeast Asian street food to California cuisine. He will join Corey Lee of Benu in San Francisco; Danny Grant of RIA in Chicago; Mario Carbone and Rich Torrisi of Torrisi Italian Specialties; Dan Kluger of ABC Kitchen in New York; and Blaine Wetzel of The Willows Inn on Lummi Island, Wash. With Ng, that makes six, plus another duo, Erik Anderson and Josh Habiger of (love the name!) the Catbird Seat in Nashville; Karen Nicolas of Equinox in Washington, D.C.; Jenn Louis of Lincoln Restaurant in Portland, Ore; and Cormac Mahoney of Madison Park Conservatory in Seattle.
This year’s winners will be wined and dined Tuesday night by past winners including Daniel Boulud of Daniel, Michael Anthony of Gramercy Tavern, Shea Gallante of Ciano and George Mendes of Aldea, all in New York City.
Since no L.A. chef under 30 made it from semi-finalist to finalist for the James Beard Foundation's Rising Star Chef of the Year, this recognition is especially sweet.
Go Spice Table! And enjoy yourself tonight, Chef Ng. Well deserved.
-- S. Irene Virbila
Photo: Bryant Ng at the grill at the Spice Table. Credit: Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times