The prestigious annual honor of being named to Food & Wine's Best New Chefs issue will be going to not one but two local chefs this year, once again proving San Francisco is where it's at food-wise more than ever before. This year's SF honorees are Ravi Kapur of Liholiho Yacht Club and David Barzelay of Lazy Bear, both incredibly popular and well received restaurants that opened in the last eighteen months, and both now likely to be even harder to get into at least after the magazine issue hits the stands, which it will in July.
This year's class of 11 chefs can all be seen below, and they've all been flown to New York today for the annual gala party to induct them into this elite national group.
A main criterion for being named to this annual list is that a chef has to been running his or her own kitchen as an executive chef for less than five years. And the honor tends to bring with it some long-term prestige. Other Bay Area chefs to have been named to the list include SPQR's Matt Accarrino in 2014, Saison's Joshua Skenes, Commis' James Syhabout, Benu's Corey Lee, Meadowood's Christopher Kostow, Mission Chinese Food's Danny Bowien, as well as Thomas Keller, Nancy Oakes, and Stuart Brioza.
The honoring of two chefs in one city is rare given efforts by the magazine's editors to spread the wealth and keep things geographically diverse and no Bay Area chef even made the 2015 list. But this echoes the 2015 Best New Restaurants list by competitor mag Bon Appétit, in which editor Andrew Knowlton picked two other SF restaurants for the honor (AL's Place and Rintaro), but mentioned both Liholiho and Lazy Bear in his Top 50, and declared San Francisco the most exciting food city in the country right now.
Liholiho Yacht Club is also a finalist for the James Beard Award this year for Best New Restaurant, and that prize will get announced next month.
Below, the full list of honorees for Food & Wine's Best New Chefs and I'm pretty sure this is the first time ever that two SF chefs have been honored in the same year, but correct me if I'm wrong.
David Barzelay, Lazy Bear, San Francisco
Kevin Fink, Emmer & Rye, Austin
Michael Gulotta, MoPho and Tana, New Orleans
Edouardo Jordan, Salare, Seattle
Ravi Kapur, Liholiho Yacht Club, San Francisco
Brad Kilgore, Alter, Miami
Iliana Regan, Elizabeth and Bunny, the micro bakery, Chicago
Aaron Silverman, Rose's Luxury and Pineapple and Pearls, Washington, D.C.
Jeremiah Stone & Fabián von Hauske, Contra and Wildair, New York City
Kris Yenbamroong, Night + Market and Night + Market Song, Los Angeles