The 2014 edition of San Francisco's annual chefs and restaurants issue has landed, and along with Josh Sens' annual State of San Francisco Restaurants piece, the magazine has chosen its five (actually six) winners for the Best Chef prizes. With multiple James Beard nominations and an Eater Award or two under their belts, the crew represented here won't be a surprise to anyone who follows the food scene closely. They were chosen by a jury of their peers, including big names like Daniel Patterson, Stuart Brioza & Nicole Krasinski, Belinda Leong, and James Syhabout.
· Best Chef: Evan and Sarah Rich, Rich Table
· Empire Builder: Dennis Leary, Trocadero Club/Natoma Cabana/Cafe Terminus (actually his second win in this category)
· Best Pastry Chef: William Werner, Craftsman & Wolves
· Rising Star Chef: Michael Gaines, Kin Khao
· Drink Guru: Dave McLean, Magnolia and Smokestack
As always, the awards come with some fun facts:
· William Werner apparently is going to open a second location of C&W in Los Angeles, as well as a cafe on Market.
· Evan Rich's favorite alone-time meal is a quesadilla with ketchup.
· Dennis Leary just bought a Capay Valley farm to grow produce for his restaurants.
· Michael Gaines was planning to open a taqueria-bar in L.A. before Pim Techamuanvivit encouraged him to come work for her.
· Dave McLean's love of the Grateful Dead began in 1990, and was encouraged by the use of psychedelics at his first show.
Congrats to all the winners.