Best Chefs America is pleased to announce the Top 25 Best Chefs of The American South.
These 25 Southern Best Chefs and their restaurants received the most mentions from other chefs throughout the course of our more than 5,000 interviews across the country.
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Best Chefs America Presents: The American South
248 full-color pages: Presented in a 8.5 x 10 travel-size guide
12 Southern States: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia
State Essays: Edward Lee, Winston Groom, Steven Satterfield, Robert St. John, Vivian Howard, Hoppin’ John Taylor, Jennifer Justus, Liz Williams, Lee Richardson, Lee Schrager, Leni Sorensen and Jamie Ross
Recipes: Recipes showcasing what some of the best Southern chefs have to offer. Recipes from Chris Hastings, Nick Gibbs, Norman Van Aken, Linton Hopkins, Dean Corbett, John Besh, John Currence, Ashley Christensen, Mike Lata, Kelly English, Patrick O’Connell and Tim Urbanic
Photos: Photos of hundreds of the Best Chefs in the South, and ingredients and dishes from each state
Dining Districts: Maps of the areas in each state which have the highest concentration of Best Chefs
Top 25: Profiles of the Top 25 Best Chefs in the South according to other chefs
Food Facts: Infographics describing the culinary landscape of each State
Restaurants of the Best Chefs: Addresses, phone numbers and URLs for the 1000+ restaurants of the Best Chefs in the South
Social Media: Social media information including Twitter and Instagram handles for the Best Chefs and restaurants in the South so diners can keep up with their favorite chefs and spots to eat
Words We Heard: Lists of trends and ingredients we heard throughout the course of our interviews
Creative Director Richie Swann on why he joined Best Chefs America
Here at Best Chefs America (BCA), we understand that we’re living in a golden age of food. The term “foodie” is used by almost anyone with an opinion about a new dish, local delicacy or gastronomic creation. But, to say folks are more attuned to their palate today than in generations past would be inaccurate. There have always been gourmands. Only now, they pay homage to the history, revel in the culture, and marvel at the craftsmanship.
And it’s not just the restaurant patrons who are enjoying proverbial salad days. The artisans preparing our foods are experiencing their own spotlight moment. Chefs are no longer viewed as just cooks; they’re managers, coaches, owners, farmers, celebrities, scientists, lobbyists, preservationists and much more. Star chefs are becoming superstars not only in the restaurant world but on the national stage, and in some cases, pop culture. Their apprentices are also reaping the rewards of their popularity because, after all, someone needs to run the restaurant.
Chefs are busier than ever. They search for the best ingredients, create innovative dishes, train their staff, visit their important guests, open multiple restaurants, take time for photo shoots, manage their PR, check their Twitter accounts and meet with architects, investors and journalists. And as the to-do list gets longer, customers are getting smarter, sharper, and demanding more from a vast array of a growing number of sources…some authoritative, some less so.
In the end though, we’re all just seeking authenticity. Through our interview process, BCA goes into the kitchen, behind the line, and straight to the source. We provide a vehicle for the true authority, the chefs. We give chefs a voice and celebrate the unprecedented work they are doing in this modern era of cuisine.
Whether it’s chef as butcher or chef as preservationist, at BCA, we’re building a brand that educates the public on the complex roles of the modern cook, and provides the ultimate guide to dining in the United States.
By Bethany Kocak
Best Chefs America tuned in to an exclusive Google+ Hangout event sponsored by Williams-Sonoma and hosted by Tasting Table’s Andy Sachs. The topic of conversation focused on Best Chef Daniel Boulud’s newly released cookbook, Daniel: My French Cuisine. Joining him on the web were Best Chefs and culinary icons, Eric Ripert and Marcus Samuelsson.
As the face of French-American cuisine, Boulud lends valuable insight into melding traditional French techniques with the modern culinary landscape. Daniel: My French iisine celebrates the 20-year anniversary of Restaurant Daniel in NYC. The book includes over 75 signature French recipes plus an additional 12 recipes for dishes Boulud prepares at home. Informative essays and more than 120 photographs complete the book, which Samuelsson describes as “a gift from Daniel to us to keep for many generations.”
Image courtesy of Amazon.com.
Boulud’s intention is to provide a source of inspiration and a tool to explore the past in order to present what’s new for the future.
Samuelsson: ”For me, Daniel is not a restaurant or a book. It’s much more. It’s not just about a recipe, it’s a lifestyle and a commitment to a craft. If you get the book, you will find out much more about the ‘how’ but also the ‘why.’”
French cuisine defines the culinary vocabulary, providing the basis for classic technique. As a non-French chef, Samuelsson says there are two kinds of chefs: French chefs and those who want to be like French chefs. As a chef from Lyon, France and working in NYC, Boulud is among the generation who are bridging the traditional with the modern. Ripert describes Modern French cuisine as being centered on technique with the ability to use exotic ingredients rather than just butter and crème fraiche, which has become somewhat of a cliché.
Best Chef Eric Ripert
Towards the end of the conversation, Sachs asks the chefs where they have dined recently. Currently in San Francisco, Boulud mentions Saison, SPQR, State Bird Provisions and Benu as restaurants delivering amazing, personal work with delicate ingredients and the perfect setting. The chefs also give acknowledgement to their neighborhood NYC restaurants Mission Chinese, Atera, Roberta’s in Brooklyn, Aldea, Blanca, Betony and Estela.
Boulud: ”I’m going to start a secret society where nobody will know who is around the table. I will make dishes for maybe 10 people and everybody can talk about any subject they want. Maybe we’ll bring food critics inside and maybe even you, Sachs. [You can't] go public with this, you know, we’ll keep it a secret.”
Best Chef Marcus Samuelsson
Samuelsson: ”There is only one chef president in our country and it is Daniel. He is our ambassador and brings us together, always. He is a guide for us.”
Congratulations to Chef Daniel Boulud on his 20-year anniversary of DANIEL and thank you to Chef Ripert and Chef Samuelsson for sharing their time. Follow this link to purchase your copy of the soon to be classic, Daniel: My French Cuisine. http://www.amazon.com/Daniel-My-French-Cuisine-Boulud/dp/145551392X
Watch the Google+ Hangout in its entirety:
September 1st – Thursday, October 31st, Ten Cities Nationwide
James Beard Foundation Taste America Local Dish Program
Each restaurant has created a special Taste America Local Dish, and will donate $1 from every Local Dish sold to the JBF Taste America education drive. Hours vary by restaurant.
Tuesday, October 22nd
Bid Against Hunger
Bid Against Hunger is New York City’s most anticipated tasting event, featuring exceptional food and wine with some of the city’s best chefs. Guest can also bid on auction packages that include exclusive dinners with top chefs, special travel and entertainment experiences, and much more!
Wednesday, October 23rd – Friday, October 26th
Harvest on the Harbor celebrates its sixth year as Maine’s Premier Food + Wine Festival! Eat, drink, and enjoy exceptional food, beer, wine, and spirits from Maine and around the world. Award-winning chefs, epicurean presentations, and live entertainment – all happening on Portland’s waterfront!
Best Chef Chad Conley, Gather, Yarmouth, ME
Best Chef Jason Kennedy, Black Tie Company, Portland, ME
Best Chef Sam Hayward, Fore Street, Portland, ME
Thursday, October 24th
Best Chef Carl Thorne-Thomsen will compete in the 2013 Best of Kansas City Chefs, a celebrity chef throw-down on October 24th benefiting Harvesters, Kansas City’s local food bank.
Food Day 2013
Food Day is a nationwide celebration and a movement for healthy, affordable and sustainable food.
Friday, October 25th – Sunday, October 27th
Taste of Atlanta
Taste of Atlanta is a food lover’s dream festival that attracts thousands of people every year to enjoy the culinary creations from some of the best restaurants in Atlanta, GA.
Saturday, October 26th
Cook it Raw: BBQ Perspectives
Best Chef Sean Brock hosts local and international culinary professionals in Charleston, SC.
Bon Appetit LA Grub Crawl returns to Los Angeles for a second year, not simply to celebrate the #1 restaurant of the year (Best Chef Ari Taymor‘s Alma), but also to dive appetite first into the kitchens of the most noteworthy restaurants that have sent the culinary scene soaring in the City of Angels.
Life is Beautiful Festival
Life is Beautiful Festival, a new two-day music, food and art festival, plans to attract tens of thousands of locals and tourists to Downtown Las Vegas in the fall of 2013.
Sunday, October 27th
No Kid Hungry Palm Beach Dinner
Hosted by Best Chef Clay Conley at būccan
Best Chef Zach Bell, Addison Reserve Country Club, Delray Beach, FL
Best Chef Nicholas Stefanelli, Bibiana, Washington, DC
Jamie DeRosa, Tongue & Cheek, Miami Beach, FL
Victor LaPlaca, Isola Trattoria & Crudo Bar, New York, NY
Jennifer Reed, The Sugar Monkey, West Palm Beach, FL
Do you have an event coming up that should be included in the Best Chefs Calender? Send details to firstname.lastname@example.org.