The Best New Chef nod from Food & Wine magazine is one of the most coveted distinctions in the food business. Past local BNCs include Thomas Keller ('88), Douglas Keane ('07), Sean O'Brien ('08), and Nate Appleman ('09). Today James Syhabout joins the club, winning this career-defining distinction with his pretension-free fare at Oakland boite, Commis. But this isn't the first major list for the 30-year old chef of Thai and Chinese descent. In 2007, as Executive Chef at PlumpJack Cafe, he joined the ranks of the Chron's Rising Star Chefs. And then last year he was included in 7x7's Hot 20. One look at the unbelievable list of chefs he's called "mentor," and it starts to make sense: Fat Duck's Heston Blumenthal, Manresa's David Kinch, Coi's Danniel Patterson, El Bulli's Ferran Adria. Not kidding.
You may have been pretty hot onto this scent after reading the twitter clues, but here's the full list of ten chefs as it was released a bit ago:
· Roy Choi, Kogi BBQ truck, Los Angeles
· Matt Lightner, Castagna, Portland, OR
· Clayton Miller, Trummer's on Main, Clifton, VA
· Missy Robbins, A Voce, New York City
· Jonathon Sawyer, The Greenhouse Tavern, Cleveland, OH
· Alex Seidel, Fruition, Denver
· Mike Sheerin, Blackbird, Chicago
· John Shields, Town House, Chilhowie, VA
· Jason Stratton, Spinasse, Seattle, WA
· James Syhabout, Commis, Oakland, CA
Also released today is the Best New Chefs iPhone app that "includes an extensive library of each chef’s restaurants" that allows you to search by chef name, location, and restaurant or award year. The full press release follows:
FOOD & WINE NAMES BEST NEW CHEFS IN AMERICA 2010
—22nd Annual Award Highlights 10 Rising Culinary Talents in New York, Chicago,Seattle, Los Angeles, Virginia & More—
Magazine Launches First-Ever iPhone App: Best New Chefs Past and Present
New York, NY (April 6, 2010) – FOOD & WINE Editor in Chief Dana Cowin announced the magazine’s highest honor, the FOOD & WINE Best New Chef award, at a celebration at The Four Seasons Restaurant in New York City. Launched in 1988, this annual award recognizes up-and-coming chefs with an innovative style and a distinctive vision creating exceptionally delicious food. The 2010 winners will be featured in the July issue of FOOD & WINE and will travel to Colorado for the 28th annual FOOD & WINE Classic in Aspen, June 18 to 20. For more on the winners, go to foodandwine.com/bestnewchefs or download the iPhone application on iTunes.
"This year we have one of the most exciting rosters of Best New Chefs ever,” Cowin says. “They represent every frontier of cooking in America today, from an avant-garde chef in a remote area of Virginia to the mastermind behind the Korean taco-truck boom in Los Angeles. The future of cooking in this country is in excellent hands."
2010 F&W Best New Chefs
Roy Choi Kogi BBQ truck, Los Angeles
Matt Lightner Castagna, Portland, OR
Clayton Miller Trummer's on Main, Clifton, VA
Missy Robbins A Voce, New York City
Jonathon Sawyer The Greenhouse Tavern, Cleveland, OH
Alex Seidel Fruition, Denver
Mike Sheerin Blackbird, Chicago
John Shields Town House, Chilhowie, VA
Jason Stratton Spinasse, Seattle, WA
James Syhabout Commis, Oakland, CA
At the party, alumni F&W Best New Chefs Andrew Carmellini of Locanda Verde (‘00), Paul Liebrandt of Corton (’09), Daniel Humm of Eleven Madison Park (’05), Dan Silverman of The Standard Grill (’97) and Gabriel Kreuther of The Modern (’03) created signature dishes. Also, Top Chef season 6 winner Michael Voltaggio prepared tastings for the celebration. All-Clad, Beringer, FIJI
Water, Infiniti, Patron and Stella Artois sponsored the evening.
The F&W Best New Chefs are chosen after a months-long selection process. The magazine worked with restaurant critics, food writers and other trusted experts around the country to identify outstanding chefs who have been in charge of a kitchen for less than five years. Then the editors travel, incognito, to taste the food themselves.
As America’s talent-seeking epicurean magazine, FOOD & WINE has awarded the Best New Chef title to such luminaries-in-the-making as Thomas Keller (‘88), Nobu Matsuhisa (‘89) and Tom Colicchio (‘91). For a complete guide to two decades of legendary Best New Chefs, download the new F&W iPhone app or visit foodandwine.com/bestnewchefs. To go behind the scenes at the party follow @fandw on Twitter.