In the beginning (or around 1941), Henri Soule created Le Pavillon. Le Pavillon begat La Côte Basque … and the New York restaurant genealogy began. Ever since, every restaurant that attains prominence in New York serves as a feeder system: A chef makes his bones and leaves to open his own effort, and his chef de cuisine rises to chef; the sous becomes chef de cuisine, and so on down the ranks. In this way spreads the great New York family tree of restaurants. Some are oaks mighty enough to support several branches; others more closely resemble saplings from A Charlie Brown Christmas.
We’ve created our own set of chef family trees here, charting the stars that emerged from four of New York’s best restaurants, Le Cirque, Daniel, Jean-Georges, and Craft, plus the now-closed-but influential 71 Clinton Fresh Food. Given the popularity of cocktail bars, we also looked to see what Pegu hath wrought. Chefs (or mixologists) on the tree must be currently heading their own kitchen (or, as in the case of Johnny Iuzzini, a pastry kitchen). Welcome to the triple-canopy jungle that is the New York restaurant scene.
David Chang, Jonathan Benno, Akthar Nawab, Johnny Iuzzini, Chris Lee, Daniel Boulud, David Bouley, Geoffrey Zakarian, Bill Telepan, Josh Eden, Gabriel Kreuther, Jim Meehan, and Bryan Miller by Patrick McMullan; Jason Hall, Wylie Dufresne, Sam Mason, and Pichet Ong by Melissa Hom; Adam Perry Lang by Wire Image; Terrance Brennan and Dan Barber by Getty Images; Michael Anthony, courtesy Gramercy Tavern; Marcellus Coleman by John Tucker; Kerry Simon by Isaac Brekken/Getty Images; Chad Solomon by Francine Daveta