Standing out among the country’s great chefs requires not only a solid grasp of culinary technique, but also the ability to clearly understand the many preferences of today’s restaurateur audience. It’s one thing to create fancy dishes. It is another to continually satisfy the changing tastes of customers. These highly accomplished chefs have mastered both the art of cooking and the skills to stay relevant in a highly competitive environment.
Chef Adrian Davila
Davila’s barbecue, Séguin, Texas
Adrian Davila, third generation pitmaster of Davila’s BBQ, specializes in authentic Texas barbecues with a unique Latin American twist. Its mesquite-smoked beef brisket, pork chops, lamb chops and much more stand out and showcase the flavors as well as the stories of the Tejano community. Davila carries on the tradition of vaqueros, the Latin American cattle ranchers who once roamed the plains of Texas and Mexico, in his restaurant. These are recipes Davila grew up eating tortillas on her family’s ranch. This technique of slowly smoking an ox’s head or lamb wrapped in maguey leaves in a traditional-style underground pit has been used in many cultures for thousands of years.
Chief Rikku O’Donnchu
Amorette, Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Chef Rikku O’Donnchu grew up in Nottinghamshire, England. He got his start working at the exemplary Hart’s Hotel and Kitchen in Nottingham, where he was introduced to high-end contemporary cuisine. Ó’Donnchü moved to Cape Town, South Africa and opened GÅTE on the Quoin Rock wine estate where he changed the face of molecular and theatrical cuisine in South Africa, winning numerous culinary awards. He landed in Lancaster County in June 2021 as Executive Chef at Amorette. Beets are often present on their menus. He explains: “There was a beetroot dessert, because I was showing its versatility. Most people use beets in a tasty way, but they’re actually better in desserts. It’s naturally sweet and full of sugar – good sugar – which helps limit how much sugar you actually need to use. I often use it in cakes in place of carrot and bake beetroot cake.
Chef Josh Tomson
The Lodge at Woodloch, Hawley, Pennsylvania
From naturally raised meats and fish to vegetarian dishes, The Lodge at Woodloch’s approach to spa cooking combines the finest foods with enlightened healthy techniques, creating a new kind of spa cuisine that is both satisfying and nutritious. Led by Executive Chef Josh Tomson, a team of gourmet chefs use fresh, local ingredients, including items freshly harvested from the resort’s own gardens. A graduate of the French Culinary Institute in New York and the New York Wine Tasting School, Chef Josh Tomson brings more than 17 years of culinary expertise and a preference for local, organic and sustainable products. He says, “Usually our main dishes reflect what comes from the garden and what our local farmers brag about. We can also use our forest as a muse. Spring might see wild ramps, ferns and mushrooms for example.
Chief William Dissen
The restaurant and lounge in the market square, Asheville, North Carolina
Chief William Dissen was the first chef to defeat Gordon Ramsay on National Geographic’s Gordon Ramsay: Unexplored. “I specialize in American farm-to-table cuisine, with an emphasis on local, seasonal and sustainable foods from our food basin in our Appalachian region,” he explains. “Through our work, we have helped establish access to the best ingredients in the western Appalachian region of the United States. Growing up in West Virginia, I had the opportunity to explore mountains and valleys and get in touch with nature. In our restaurants, we work with a plethora of wild and native ingredients that are cultivated and from the region. Chef Dissen has always been committed to cooking with local ingredients that he can pick from nature, whether in the mountains or the oceans.
Chef Kenny Gilbert
Silkie’s Chicken and Champagne Bar, Jacksonville, Florida
Chef Kenny Gilbert spices things up for CrateChef, a chef-curated subscription-based business that showcases samples of favorite dishes from top chefs. Gilbert is the 30th chef to have his culinary career highlighted thanks to this woman-founded business that inspires home cooks to learn professional cooking skills while trying out new recipes and products. Gilbert honed his craft, organized his recipes and developed the basics of his spice blends while traveling the world as a chef at the best restaurants in Japan, Spain, France and the Caribbean. His latest business, Silkie’s Chicken and Champagne Bar, is all about chicken and champagne. Its seasonings pair perfectly with meats you’ll be barbecuing or grilling, including a cinnamon coffee blend and a Caribbean-influenced jerk.
Chef Sean Brock
The continental, Land of joy, Nashville, Tennessee
Chef Sean Brock’s passion for American culinary history mingles with his respect for the traditional elegance of hotel meals at The Continental, a fresh take on classic American cuisine. Inspired by the unique history of American restaurants and hotels throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries, Chef Brock and his team seek to develop new dishes and serving traditions guided by the creativity and spirit of the era. . At Joyland, what comes across as a simple menu of cookies, burgers, fried chicken, and more has been studied, tested, and perfected relentlessly in countless trials, using pioneering food technologies and ingredients from the most. high quality to create a delightfully fun experience reminiscent of the past. at the height of fast food.
Kristen Hall, Executive Pastry Chef & Co-Owner
The essential, Bandit Pastry, Birmingham, Alabama
Run by chefs Victor King and Kristen Hall, The Essential is a quirky yet refined neighborhood restaurant that offers café-style dishes all day that pay homage to the region’s bounty. Combining southern comfort and French technique, the king’s menu, composed of small and large plates, is inspired by seasonal products and is supplied from local and regional suppliers. Bandit Pâtisserie offers the best of seasonal flavors and puff pastry paying homage to southern comfort while using iconic French methods to create beautiful, technique-driven pastries Celebrating the little moments and sweet treats, Bandit Pâtisserie offers a variety of pies, croissants, cookies, tarts and more.
Executive Chef and Owner Philippe Massoud
ilili, New York, New York
Chef Massoud brings a new meaning to “breaking bread” through a shared table, using Lebanese cuisine as a vehicle to reinvent tradition. Normally considered only street food, he made it his mission to bring Lebanese culture and cuisine to the forefront of the gastronomic world, creating one of the first high-end dining experiences featuring the Lebanese cuisine in the United States. find traditional recipes such as tabbouleh with Parlsey, TUSEN, tomato and burghul, to modernized classics like Duck Shwarma with fig jam, green onion and garlic whisk. Ilili’s goal is to unify the culture and spirit of each guest as they come together to experience and enjoy each dish.