Rock Star Chefs under the Loop

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Chefs

The world has plenty of Michelin star restaurants, award-winning Chefs and fine dining venues. But what about those other Chefs that are busy earning their stripes and haven’t been given a spotlight?

We’ve written about Chefs that have earned their stars, we’ve written about the best restaurants in the world and their stars. But what about the countless other Chefs that are talented and creative? Who are they and what’s the culinary legacy they are trying to build? Here are some of our thoughts on Chefs you haven’t read about yet.

Tomeu Caldentey, Bou, Spain – We’ve written about Bou before because it’s such an amazing restaurant. And although Chef Tomey Caldentey has been named Chef of the Year in Mallorca before, he hasn’t gotten a lot of international attention yet. And of course he deserves more of a spotlight. Using regional ingredients and cooking techniques with creative twists and combinations, this Chef will blow you away.

Rosio Sanchez, Hija de Sanchez, Copenhagen Born in the US with Mexican roots, Rosio was lucky enough to work at Noma in Copenhagen and with Wiley Dufresne in New York as a pastry chef. But she realized she missed bringing her own identity into the cooking, and she left Noma to open a taco stand at a local market in Copenhagen. Most of the ingredients are imported from Mexico to ensure authenticity and quality of the dishes. Another branch has been opened and Rosio has also been asked to help with a Noma Mexico pop up. There’s a bright future ahead for Rosio.

Yoshi Okai, Otoko, Austin Imagine the century-old traditions of sushi making, with the rituals around how to make the rice, how to shape the nigiri and exactly how much wasabi is allowed to be used. And then combine those with some new flavours and traditions. Olive oil, sea salt and lemon. Yoshi Okai combines all these things flawlessly at his Austin haunt and leaves you mesmerized.

Chefs

Victoria Eliasdottir, Dottir, Berlin (note: Dottir is currently closed, hunting for a new location in Berlin) – Victoria has Scandinavian roots and this comes through in her cooking: lots of seafood and lots of Nordic herbs. Her father was a chef, als very focused on seafood, and so her training started when she was a child. Dishes at Dottir are pure and use basic ingredients. No heaps of dried spices and harsh flavours. Lots of smoking (smoked mackerel, smoked buttermilk) and sous vide techniques combined with a bit of salt, lemon and seasonal vegetables.

Josh Lewin, Juliet, Massachussets Josh likes cooking to themes and making meals theatrical. After having spent years doing pop-ups that involved not only food but also entertainment and a set or décor, he opened his own restaurant in Somerville, just outside of Boston. Juliet is open plan, as is popular at the moment, and so even without a theatrical element to the restaurant, the kitchen itself provides entertainment as every guest gets a glimpse of what it is like to prepare a meal at Josh’s standard.

Louis Tikaram, E.P. Asian Eating House, L.A. – Louis is a mix of Indian, Chinese and Fijian roots, raised in Australia. Say what? Exactly. It all started with his grandmother, serving dishes from China as well as India, and so Louis grew up learning to master a huge range of techniques and ingredients. He trained under at Longrain in Sydney, among other places, and you can clearly still taste the Asian influences in his cooking. So if you’re headed to LA, treat yourself to some creative fusion cuisine from Louis.

Callie Speer, Holy Roller, Austin Another pastry chef turned head chef and entrepreneur, Callie Speer opened Holy Roller, a punky casual restaurant in Austin. Holy Roller serves brunch and cocktails all day long. Yup you read that right. A dream come true. An all-star female team of experienced GM, bar manager and pastry chef complement Callie’s home-style cooking. Don’t expect molecular or infused. Just expect extremely well executed and flavourful American staples like steaks, burgers and pancakes.

Michael Friedman, Red Hen, Washington – Mike didn’t realise he wanted to be a Chef until after he graduated from college, but once he did he rose through the ranks quickly. He started as a prep cook, then quickly became sous chef and while going to cooking school worked with some of the best in the industry. And now he has opened Red Hen – comfort food with a modern-day twist, and with a lot of Italian influences.


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