Ladies and gentlemen, Eater is thrilled to present the much-anticipated Eater Young Guns Class of 2014, a group of 16 of the most distinguished young chefs, restaurateurs, sommeliers, and hospitality industry professionals across North America. These are the junior statesmen of the culinary world who have most distinguished themselves this year and who are its next stars. Over the past two months, you've met them and all of the semi-finalists from this year.
The class is comprised of seven women and nine men. There are chefs, sous chefs, pastry chefs, food truck operators, one GM, a butcher, a barista, a mixologist, and a pizza chef. They hail from across North America and represent a vast number of cuisines and approaches to their professions. The youngest is just 23 and the oldest is 40, with less than a year of professional experience.
The Eater Young Guns Class of 2014 will be celebrated at a gala event in Los Angeles.
Sam Kincaid, 29
What she does: Pastry chef, Fork, Philadelphia
Why she's a Young Gun: "Samantha Kincaid is one of the most dedicated culinary professionals I have seen since owning Fork for 17 years. Her work ethic speaks for itself, setting standards for all around her. Always looking to gain additional knowledge, she is constantly out looking for inspiration from local farmers markets, farmers, etc. With Chef Eli Kulp, she has fostered an environment where savory and pastry have much greater intersection than the past. Her aesthetic and willingness to push the envelope is what makes her pastries unique." — Ellen Yin, owner Fork [Photo: Jason Varney]
What they do: Co-owners/chefs, Hola Arepa, Minneapolis
Why they're Young Guns: This pair had practically zero professional cooking experience when they launched their food truck, Hola Arepa, in Minneapolis. Toss in the fact that they were serving foods and flavors not yet pioneered in the Twin Cities, and it seems like the two would have trouble finding a following. And yet, their truck was a smash, with lines 50 people deep at lunch. As Eater Minneapolis editor Claire Stanford writes, "Nguyen and Grudem recently translated Hola Arepa's success into a 115-seat brick and mortar restaurant, where they turn out exciting dishes like shitake cachapas with huitlacoche, truffle oil, and poached egg to huge crowds every night, proving that Midwesterners have a hunger for more than just meat and potatoes." And they're looking to expand.[Photo: Katie Cannon]
To see the full list of the 2014 Young Guns visit, Eater.