Matthew Accarrino's stellar work at SPQR has earned him a Michelin star, multiple turns on the James Beard Award longlist, a StarChefs Rising Star honor, and a spot on the Eater 38, among other laurels. Now he's received his biggest prize yet: Food & Wine named him one of their Best New Chefs this morning, alongside the likes of Paul Qui, Ari Taymor, and Justin Yu. "He incorporates secrets he learned from some of America's greatest chefs in his phenomenal updates on traditional Italian dishes," says the magazine in its profile.
Accarrino, a onetime aspiring cyclist and CIA grad, became fascinated with cooking after an injury that derailed his biking career. His first job was with Emeril Lagasse, and he eventually cooked under Thomas Keller at Per Se and led the L.A. outpost of Tom Colicchio's Craft before moving to the Bay Area to run SPQR's kitchen in 2009. Since then, he's published a cookbook with owner and wine director Shelley Lindgren, and his Italian-influenced seasonal fare has earned three stars and regular Top 100 appearances from Michael Bauer.
Editor Dana Cowin announced the winners via Instagram selfies; here's her appearance with Accarrino:
Accarrino joins the likes of Christopher Kostow, Corey Lee, Joshua Skenes, and last year's honorees Danny Bowien and Justin Cogley as alums of the BNC program, which has launched the careers of a number of big names in the food community over the years.
Here's the full list of 2014 winners:
· Justin Yu, Oxheart, Houston
· Cara Stadler, Tao Yuan, Brunswick ME
· Greg Denton and Gabrielle Quinonez Denton, Ox, Portland, OR
· Matthew Accarrino, SPQR, San Francisco
· Paul Qui, Qui, Austin, TX
· Eli Kulp, Fork, Philadelphia
· Ari Taymor, Alma, Los Angeles
· Dave Beran, Next, Chicago
· Matt McCallister, FT33, Dallas
· Walker Stern and Joe Ogrodnek, Dover, Brooklyn