Culinary trade publication StarChefs turned its eye on Southern California today, announcing its picks for L.A.’s rising culinary stars. Daily Dish observed the announcements in Santa Monica, which take restaurant owners into account as well as pastry chefs, executive and head chefs, plus mixologists and sommeliers. StarChefs veers towards high-profile places while staying deft at discovering the talent filling in for famous names. To that end, Sona chef Kuniko Yagi, Melisse chef Ken Takayama, and Bouchon’s Rory Herrmann are chosen for filling in for big shoes like David Myers, Josiah Citrin, and Thomas Keller. Toques who have carved out their own places also get credit where its due as Animal’s Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo earn nods alongside Walter Manzke from Church & State, while Josh and Zoe Loeb win rising restaurateurs for their Huckleberry and Rustic Canyon, and Adam Fleischman earns ‘best concept” for Unami Burger.
Elsewhere, BLD’s Diana Stavaridis and Top Chef winner Michael Voltaggio are included as rising chefs, while the pastry chef category justifiably goes to Providence’s Adrian Vasquez and more surprisingly to XIV’s Jordan Kahn. Eric Alperin of The Varnish joins the mixology star ranks along with Rivera’s Julian Cox and rising sommelier Christopher Miller of Spago. Lest he be left out of anything, Roy Choi gets rising “community chef.” Maybe most importantly, Ray Garcia is singled out as L.A.’s rising sustainability chef for his work heading the kitchen at Fig. Overall, Star Chefs made good calls, even if one or two of these calls seems obvious or overdue.
Exclusive: StarChefs Announces L.A.’s Rising Stars [Daily Dish]