Elite Traveler recently named the most influential chefs cooking today, but what of the future? Such predictions are inevitably somewhat speculative, but there are a number of chefs working now, many of them under 35 years old, who seemed destined to have a major impact on the restaurant industry. In collaboration with our food critic Andy Hayler we have narrowed the list to fifteen talented individuals. In no particular order, they are:
Eneko Atxa – Spain
Atxa has had a remarkable rise in the culinary ranks, taking his Bilbao hillside restaurant Azurmendi from one Michelin star in 2008 to the ultimate accolade of three stars in 2013. This is an exceptionally fast trajectory, but one justified by his superb cooking, based largely around the vegetables grown on the premises.
Alex Atala – Brazil
The food press tends to be dominated by news about European and North American restaurants, but Brazilian chef Alex Atala has been making waves with his restaurant D.O.M. in the unlikely setting of gridlocked Sao Paolo. He visits the Amazon region regularly, sourcing exotic ingredients from there for his cooking.
Andre Chiang – Singapore
Taiwanese Andre Chiang trained in several 3 star Michelin restaurants in France before moving to Singapore and in 2010 striking out on his own. His latest venture Restaurant Andre draws on his classical training, and at the age of 37 Andre has plenty of potential to draw an even wider audience than he has now. Image Credit: Restaurant ANDRE
Esben Holmboe Bang – Norway
Although Esben is Danish, it is mainly in Norway that he trained as a chef. The 30 year old’s first restaurant Maaemo opened in December 2010, and rapidly gained one and then a second Michelin star. His cooking reflects the Norwegian countryside, with much use of pickles and vinegars in winter, and local vegetables in the summer, with 85% of ingredients used being sourced from the nearby area.
Takashi Saito – Japan
In a country where age and experience is venerated, Takashi Saito has risen to the top of the ranks of sushi chef at the unusually young age of 41. His tiny restaurant Sushi Saito has just seven seats, and is located in the unlikely setting of a Tokyo car park. Not only does it have three Michelin stars, but in the local kanji-only restaurant guide Tabelog, Saito has been rated number one sushi restaurant in Tokyo for some time.