For the sixth year, Eater has announced a class of Young Guns, the most promising up-and-coming talent in the restaurant industry across the country. They’re all either under 30 or have worked in their industry for under five years and range from front- and back-of-the-house positions, brewers, butchers, and beyond.
Earlier this year, Eater accepted public nominations for the class of 2018, receiving over 2,000 entries for over 600 nominees. That number was narrowed down to a group of 50 by Eater’s panel of esteemed restaurant and hospitality professionals and past Young Guns — Benu’s Yoon Ha represented SF.
The list of winners will be announced next month, followed by a gala ceremony. Without further ado, here are the four Bay Area semifinalists, listed alphabetically:
Eric Ehler, 29, is known for his good humor and work ethic. More recently, he became known for surviving a heart attack while finishing his shift at Michelin-starred Mister Jiu’s. The community came together to support him during his recovery, and he’s now working to open the much-anticipated Moon Gate Lounge above the restaurant.
Riley Redfern, 28, leads the pastry program at tasting-menu only Coi. Her stellar desserts — including her impeccable mignardises — helped earn the team three Michelin stars last year.
Nite Yun, 35, dropped out of nursing school to connect with her roots, and learn more about the food of Cambodia. Born in a refugee camp in Thailand and raised in Stockton, CA, her first brick-and-mortar restaurant opened in Oakland’s Fruitvale neighborhood last year.
Jocelyn Havel, 28, has successfully combined her graduate degree in chemistry and her passion for beer. She’s now the quality supervisor for 21st Amendment, where she ensures that every beer is up to par by monitoring fermentation and analyzing each batch.