Dave Beran of Next, the younger Melmans, and a Pritzker heir who is benefiting humanity by pouring money into HomeMade Pizza Co. are among the food-related folks on Crain’s annual list of 40 Under 40. Eater lists eight of them, including Beran, R.J. and Jerrod Melman, Matthew Pritzker, GrubHub founder Mike Evans, Matthew Corrin, founder of healthy fast food chain Freshii, Skinny Pop founder Pam Netzky, and Cooper’s Hawk restaurant/winery chain founder Tim McEnery. To be honest, apart from Beran and our hope for the Melmans over time, we find this a slight bummer of a list, insofar as it’s all chain-y chain places and diety prefab foods and stuff like that, which we guess is where you make the big bucks and get Crain’s attention. Which prompts the question— who under 40 would you put on a list, who actually seems to be doing something good with food, even if not on the venture capital level that Crain’s would favor? We don’t know if all of these people are under 40 for sure (some may be very well preserved), but we’d be a lot more interested in a list that mentioned Jessie Oloroso of Black Dog Gelato, or the second generation Asian restaurateurs who have Take Me Out chicken wings in Pilsen, or Patrick Addison, the doughnut whiz at The Doughnut Vault, or somebody like that. What youngsters would you honor for their achievements in actually making, not just marketing, food?
“It’ll take more than that to get a kitchen table for El Bulli, Crain’s.”