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OA Blog/Destination Dining


Best Meals of 2011

I always find the Meal of the Year post to be highly informative. Not only does it include a number of restaurants that I never heard of before, it allows me to keep track of important trends in the world of fine dining. Among the things that I learned from this year’s responses are the following:

1. Ferran Adria and his El Bulli restaurant will be sorely missed.

2. Both San Francisco and Brooklyn are emerging as important fine dining destinations.

3. Northern Europe - specifically Scandinavia, Germany, Benelux - continues to dominate that continent’s fine dining scene.

4. The fine dining community is beginning to pay attention to restaurants in South America

In terms of up and coming chefs, names of U.S. chefs that came up on multiple occasions were Jordan Kahn of Red Medicine in Los Angeles, and Joshua Skenes of Saison and Dominique Crenn of Atelier Crenn, both in San Francisco. In Europe; chefs to watch are Kobe Desraumault of In de Wulf in Dranouter, Belgium, Magnus Niellson of Faviken in Jarpan, Sweden and David Tourain of Agape Substance in Paris, France. Finally, it would seem that if you haven’t made the trek to Chilhowie, Virginia to check out John Shield’s cooking you don’t know what you are missing.

Anyway, it’s more fun to read the comments than it is to hear me talking about them so enjoy. And most importantly, have a good holiday season and a happy New Year.

Alex Raij (Chef/Owner, Txikito, New York, NY)
Meal of the Year – Beasley’s Chicken & Honey, Raleigh, North Carolina
Chef with Most Potential – Wesley Genovart, Solo Farm & Table, South Londonderry, Vermont
www.txikitonyc.com

Amanda Kludt (New York Editor, Eater)
Meal of the Year –Blue Hill at Stone Barns, Pocantico Hills, New York
Chef with Most Potential – Angelo Romano, Masten Lake, Brooklyn, New York
www.eater.com

Andrea Reusing (Chef/Owner, Lantern, Chapel Hill, North Carolina)
Meal of the Year – Sushi Sawada, Tokyo, Japan
Chef with Most Potential – Matt Steigerwald, Lincoln Café, Mount Vernon, Iowa
www.lanternrestaurant.com

Andy Hayler’s Restaurant, Food & Hotel Guide
Meal of the Year – Ledoyen, Paris, France
Chef with Most Potential – Alexandre Bourdas, Sa.Qua.Na, Honfleur, France
www.andyhayler.com

Angie Moisier (President, Southern Foodways Alliance)
Meal of the Year – Le Bernardin, New York, NY
Chef with Most Potential – Ryan Smith, Empire State, Atlanta, Georgia
www.angiemosier.com

Bernard Lahousse (Founder, Foodpairing.com)
Meal of the Year – Hertog Jan, Bruges, Belgium
Chef with Most Potential – Kobe Desramault, In de Wulf, Dranouter, Belgium
www.foodpairing.com

Bob Noto (Food Photographer & Gastronome Extraordinaire)
Meal of the Year – El Bulli, Roses, Spain
Chef with Mst Potential – David Toutain, Agape Substance, Paris, France
http://www.bobnoto.com

Bobby Stucky (Beverage Director/Owner, Frasca Food & Wine, Boulder, Colorado)
Meal of the Year – Piazza Duomo, Alba, Italy
Chef with Most Potential - Alessandro Gravagna, La Subida, Cormons, Italy
www.frascafoodandwine.com

Bryan Voltaggio (Chef/Owner, Volt, Frederick, Maryland)
Meal of the Year – Noma, Copenhagen, Denmark
Chef with Most Potential – Michael Voltaggio, ink., West Hollywood, California
www.voltrestaurant.com

ChuckEats
Meal of the Year – In de Wulf, Dranouter, Belgium
Chef with Most Potential – Joshua Skenes, San Francisco, California
www.chuckeats.com

Curtis Duffy (Chef/Owner, Grace Restaurant, Chicago, Illinois)
Meal of the Year – Blue Hill at Stone Barns
Chef with Most Potential – Matt Merges, Yusho, Chicago, Illinois
www.grace-restaurant.com


Daniel Humm (Chef, Eleven Madison Park, New York, NY)
Meal of the Year – Alinea, Chicago, Illinois
Chef with Most Potential – Jason Franey, Canlis, Seattle, Washington
www.elevenmadisonpark.com

Daniel Patterson (Chef/Owner Coi, San Francisco, California)
Meal of the Year – Noma, Copenhagen, Denmark
Chef with Most Potential – Kim Alter, Haven, San Francisco, California)
www.coirestaurant.com

Dave Beran (Chef, Next, Chicago, Illinois)
Meal of the Year – Town House, Chilhowie, Virginia
Chef with Most Potential – John Shields, Town House, Chilhowie, Virginia
www.nextrestaurant.com

David Chang (Chef/Owner Momofuku)
Meal of the Year – Sushi Sawada, Tokyo, Japan
Chef with Most Potential – Magnus Nielson, Faviken, Jarpan, Sweden; Christian Puglisi, Relae, Copenhagen, Denmark
www.momofuku.com

David Lebovitz (Pastry Chef and author of Ready for Dessert)
Meal of the Year – Vivant, Paris, France
Chef with Most Potential - Laura Adrian and Braden Perkins, Verjus, Paris,
www.davidlebovitz.com

Docsconz- the Blog
Meal of the Year – El Bulli, Roses Spain
Chef with Most Potential – Ben Sukle, The Dorrance, Providence, Rhode Island
www.docsconz.com

Dominique Crenn (Chef/Owner Atelier Crenn, San Francisco, California)
Meal of the Year – Manresa, Los Gatos, California
Chef with Most Potential – Kobe DesRamault, In de Wulf, Dranouter, Belgium
www.ateliercrenn.com

Epicuryan
Meal of the Year – e by Jose Andres, Las Vegas, Nevada
Chef with Most Potential – Dominique Crenn, Atelier Crenn, San Francisco, California
tangbro1.blogspot.com

Eric Ripert (Chef/Owner Le Bernardin, New York., NY)
Meal of the Year – Eleven Madison Park, New York, NY
Chef with Most Potential – Daniel Humm, Eleven Madison Park, New York, NY
www.le-bernardin.com

Gabe Rucker (Chef/Owner, Le Pigeon, Portland, Oregon)
Meal of the Year – Clark Lewis, Portland, Oregon
Chef with Most Potential – Will Perch, Bent Brick, Portland, Oregon
www.lepigeon.com

Gastros-on-Tour
Meal of the Year – Arpege, Paris, France
Chef with Most Potential – David Toutain, Agape Substance, Paris, France
gastrosontour.wordpress.com

Gavin Kayson (Chef, Café Boulud, New York, NY)
Meal of the Year – Blue Hill Stone Barns, Pocantico Hills, NY)
Chef with Most Potential – Corey Lee, Benu, San Francisco, California
www.danielnyc.com/cafebouludNY

George Mendes (Chef/Owner, Aldea, New York, NY)
Meal of the Year – Town House, Chilhowie, Virginia
Chef with Most Potential – Joshua Skenes, Saison, San Francisco, California
www.aldearestaurant.com

Gerry Dawes (Author of “An Insiders Guide to Spanish Food, Wine, Culture & Travel)
Meal of the Year – Abac, Barcelona, Spain
Chef with Most Potential – Jordi Cruz, Abac, Barcelona, Spain
www.gerrydawesspain.com


Hadley Tomicki (Los Angles Editor, Grub Street)
Meal of the Year – N’Naka, Los Angeles, California
Chef with Most Potential – Jordan Kahn, Red Medicine, Los Angeles, California
losangeles.grubstreet.com

High End Food
Meal of the Year – Christian Bau, Perl-Nennig, Germany, Thomas Buhner, La Vie, Osnabruck, Germany, Ferran Adria, El Bulli, Roses, Spain
Chef with Most Potential - Kevin Fehling, La Belle Epoque, Lübeck-Travemünde, Germany
www.highendfood.org

Jason Franey (Chef, Canlis, Seattle, Washington)
Meal of the Year – Coi, San Francisco, California
Chef with Most Potential – Blaine Wetzell, Willows Inn, Lummia Island, Washington
www.canlis.com

Jay Rayner (Restaurant Critic, The Observer, London, UK & author of The Man Who Ate the World)
Meal of the Year – Jean George, New York, NY
Chef with Most Potential - Paul Foster, Tuddenham Mill, Suffolk, UK
www.guardian.co.uk

John Currence (Chef/Owner, City Grocery, Oxford, Mississippi)
Meal of the Year – Bar Agricole, San Francisco, California
Chef with Most Potential – Alon Shaya, Domenica, New Orleans, Vishwesh Bhatt, Snackbar, Oxford, Mississippi
www.citygroceryonline.com

John Shields (Chef, Town House, Chilhowie, Virginia)
Meal of the Year – El Bulli
Chef with Most Potential – Jordan Kahn, Red Medicine, Los Angeles, California
www.townhouseva.com

John Talbott’s Paris
Meal of the Year – Sola par Hiroki Yoshitake, Paris, France
Chef with Most Potential – Hiroki Yoshitake, Paris, France
johntalbottsparis.typepad.com

Josh Ozersky (Food Writer,Time Magazine)
Meal of the Year – Torrisi Italian Specialities (Chef’s tasting menu)
Chef with Most Potential – Sean Brock, Husk, Charleston, South Carolina)
www.ozersky.tv

Juan Amador (Chef/Owner, Amador, Mannheim, Germany)
Meal of the Year – Aqua, Wolfsburg, Germany
Chef with Most Potential – Daniel Achilles, Restaurant Reinstoff, Berlin, Germany
www.restaurant-amador.de

Juan Jose Cuevos (Chef, Pluckemin Inn, Bedminster, New Jersey)
Meal of the Year – Battersby, Brooklyn, NY
Chef with Most Potential - Joseph Ogrodnek, Battersby, Brooklyn, NY
www.pluckemininn.com

Kevin Nashan (Chef/Owner, Sidney Street Café, St. Louis, Missouri)
Meal of the Year – Town House, Chilhowie, Virginia
Chef with Most Potential – John Shields, Town House, Chilhowie, Virginia
www.sidneystreetcafe.com

Kevineats
Meal of the Year – Atelier Crenn, San Francisco, California/Saison, San Francisco, California
Chef with Most Potential – Craig Thornton, Wolvesden, Los Angeles, California

www.kevineats.com

Lenny Russo (Chef/Owner, Heartland, St. Paul, Minnesota)
Meal of the Year – Piccolo, Minneapolis., Minnesota
Chef with Most Potential – Doug Flicker, Piccolo, Minneapolis, Minnesota
www.heartlandrestaurant.com

Linton Hopkins (Chef/Owner Restaurant, Eugene, Atlanta, Georgia)
Meal of the Year – Per Se, New York, NY
Chef with Most Potential – James Lewis, Bettola, Birmingham, Alabama
www.restauranteugene.com

Ludo Lefebvre (Chef/Owner LudoBites)
Meal of the Year – Saam Bar (Rotisserie Duck Fest)
Chef(s) with Most Potential – Lucca & Reve Lefebvre (my new twins)
www.ludolefebvre.com/ludobites

Luxeat
Meal of the Year – Guy Savoy, Paris, France
Chef with Most Potential – Alex Atala, D.O.M. Sao Paolo, Brazil
www.luxeat.com


Matt Lightner (Chef, Atera, New York, NY)
Meal of the Year – Mugaritz, Errenteria, Spain
Chef with Most Potential – Joshua Skenes, San Francisco, California
www.ateranyc.com

Michael Friedman (Pizzaiolo/Owner, Pizza Delicious, New Orleans, Louisiana
Meal of the Year – Noma, Copenhagen, Denmark
Chef with Most Potential – Nathaniel Zimet, Boucherie, New Orleans, LA
pizzadelicious.blogspot.com

Michael Tusk (Chef/Owner, Quince, San Francisco, California)
Meal of the Year – Benu, San Francisco, California
Chef with Most Potential – Jason Fox, Commonwealth, San Francisco, California
www.quincerestaurant.com

Mikael Jonnson (Chef/Owner Hedone, London, United Kingdom)
Meal of the Year – Arpege, Paris, France
Chef with Most Potential – Magnus Niellson, Faviken, Jarpan, Sweden
www.hedonerestaurant.com

Pocket Fork
Meal of the Year – Chef’s Tasting Menu at Roberta’s, Bushwick, NY
Chef with Most Potential – Carlo Mirachi, Roberta’s, Bushwick, NY
www.pocketfork.com

Ryan Poli (Executive chef Tavernita, Chicago, Illinois)
Meal of the Year – Tickets, Barcelona, Spain
Chef with most potential - Matteo Pancetti, 3 Food, People & Music, Barcelona, Spain
www.tavernita.com

Scott Anderson (Chef Elements, Princeton, New Jersey)
Meal of the Year – Lantern, Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Chef with Most Potential – Cesar Ramirez, Brooklyn Fare, Brooklyn, NY
www.elementsprinceton.com

Sean Brock (Chef/Owner McCrady’s & Husk, Charleston, South Carolina)
Meal of the Year – French Laundry, Yountville, California
Chef with Most Potential – Thomas Herman, Restaurant Herman, Copenhagen, Denmark
www.mccradysrestaurant.com


Stephen Harris (Chef/Owner The Sportsman, Seasalter, UK)
Meal of the Year – Faviken, Jarpan, Sweden/Franzten Lindberg, Stockholm, Sweden
Chef with Most Potential – Mikael Jonnson, Hedone, London, UK
www.thesportsmanseasalter.co.uk

Steve Plotnicki (Author Opinionated About U.S. Restaurants 2011)
Meal of the Year – El Bulli, Roses, Spain
Chef with Most Potential – Jordan Kahn, Red Medicine, Los Angeles, California, Dominique Crenn, San Francisco, California
www.opinionatedaboutdining.com

Thomas Keller (Chef/Owner The French Laundry, Yountville, California)
Meal of the Year – Addison, Del Mar, California
Chef with Most Potential – William Bradley, Addison, Del Mar, California
www.frenchlaundry.com

Tomostyle
Meal of the Year – Husk, Charleston, South Carolina)
Chef with Most Potntial – Dominique Crenn, Atelier Crenn, San Francisco, California)
tomostyle.wordpress.com

Trey Foshee (Chef/Owner, George’s Modern, La Jolla, California)
Meal of the Year – The Sportsman, Seasalter, United Kingdom
Chef with Most Potential – Joshua Skenes, Saison, San Francisco, California
www.georgesatthecove.com

Ulterior Epicure
Meal of the Year – Restaurant Quique Dacosta, Denia, Spain
Chef with Most Potential – Joshua Skenes, Saison, San Francisco, California, Shawn Gawle, Corton, New York, NY
www.ulteriorepicure.com

Veal Cheeks
Meal of the Year – El Bulli, Roses, Spain/Coi, San Francisco, California
Chef with Most Potential – Blaine Wetzell, Willows Inn, Lummi Island, Washington
vealcheeks.blogspot.com

Very Good Food
Meal of the Year – La Vie, Osnabruck, Germany
Magnus Niellson, Faviken, Jarpan, Sweden
www.verygoodfood.dk

Wandering Epicures
Meal of the Year – Hertog Jan, Bruges, Belgium
Chef with Most Potential - Juan Felipe Camacho, Restaurante Don Juan, Cartagena, Colombia
www.epicures.wordpress.com

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