Food & Wine's Best New Chefs Overlooks South Florida -- Again

Categories: The Critic
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Food and Wine
Another year, another list of Food & Wine's Best New Chefs. And none of them is from South Florida.

The food magazine's annual list of 10 Best New Chefs in America gathers the young, creative toques who have caught national attention over the past year. The only rule -- none can have run their kitchen for more than five years. The list features chefs from Los Angeles, Denver, Seattle, Cleveland, Chicago, and even two from Virginia. But just as last year, none of them is from Florida.

The winners are:

Jason Stratton, Spinasse, Seattle
Alex Seidel, Fruition, Denver
John Shields, Town House, Chilhowie, Virginia
Clayton Miller, Trummer's on Main, Clifton, Virginia
Jonathon Sawyer, The Greenhouse Tavern, Cleveland
Mike Sheerin, Blackbird, Chicago
Roy Choi, Kogi Korean BBQ, Los Angeles
James Syhabout, Commis, Oakland
Missy Robbins, A Voce, New York
Matt Lightner, Castagna, Portland

The most interesting pic here is Roy Choi. Personally, I find it badass that F&W gave such a distinction to a guy who's essentially cooking streetfood. But Choi does have chops. A CIA grad who studied under Eric Ripert at Le Bernardin, Choi has become a favorite of food writers like Jonathan Gold for creatively melding Korean and Mexican cuisine. And really, who wouldn't dig on his kogi tacos or short rib sliders? Choi currently operates four Kogi trucks on various street corners in the Los Angeles area. Care to open one here, Roy? (Licks chops.)

But still, where does that leave South Florida? Surely we've got some chefs here who could at least qualify for the honor. Right off the bat, I'm thinking of Michael Schwartz (F&W has offered the Miami chef much praise in the past, but he's never won this distinction). But beyond that, things do get trickier. Franco Filiponne of Sette Bello comes to mind. Tetsu Hayakawa and Teruhiko Iwasaki of Marumi Sushi might qualify, but I could see F&W getting turned off by Marumi itself, which isn't the most impressive restaurant visually. Paula DaSilva of 3030 Ocean probably doesn't count, since technically she worked behind Dean Max. We've got some great places run by talented young chefs like Sicilian Oven,Tryst, the Office, and Bamboo Fire (cheers to Delray). But how many of them would compete for national attention?

So you tell me: What young South Florida chefs would you qualify for the distinction?
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