This 12 months, our Emerging Superstar Cooks are those who modified our minds.

The cooks in this listing are pushing their respective cuisines ahead; they’ve made us query our assumptions about barbeque, Thai delicacies and California delicacies thru their infectious pleasure for his or her selected genres and willingness to investigate, experiment and write their very own narrative. We additionally sought out cooks who, along with their skill within the kitchen, actively paintings to switch the way in which we enjoy the meals international, whether or not thru advocating for fellow meals staff or teaching the general public concerning the historical past of the Californian meals machine. The cooks right here aren’t essentially tied to conventional eating places, a sign of the numerous techniques the fundamental job of creating meals for the general public has shifted within the Bay House. Some aren’t keen on opening eating places in any respect, whilst maximum earned fanatics by means of web hosting their very own pop-u.s.across the bay. As in earlier years, they all have 5 or fewer years of top-of-the-chain control underneath their belts.

— Soleil Ho,


Meghan Clark, chef de cuisine at Nari in S.F. Photo: Stephen Lam / Special To The Chronicle

Meghan Clark, chef de delicacies at Nari in S.F.

(Stephen Lam / Particular To The Chronicle | San Francisco Chronicle)

Meghan Clark


1625 Put up St., San Francisco


Pushing Thai delicacies ahead in The usa

Meghan Clark used to be running as a chef at a butcher store in Melbourne, Australia, when she were given the decision from Pim Techamuanvivit in 2016. The chef de delicacies place at Family Khao had simply spread out. Years previous, Clark had subbed in on the eating place as a line cook dinner, simply in short, however the chef-restaurateur remembered her smartly.

In 2014, Clark used to be running at Aster, the Michelin-starred eating place the place she used to be the hole sous chef underneath chef Brett Cooper. Whilst the eating place used to be underneath building, Cooper prompt she paintings at Family Khao to lend a hand them out and occupy her time. Clark had inspired Techamuanvivit along with her willing palate and considerate ideas. “I used to be clearly overqualified for the road cook dinner process,” Clark admits.

Years later, Techamuanvivit’s name had stuck her at a pivotal second: The Bay House local used to be about to use for everlasting residency in Australia. “It used to be very best timing,” Clark says. From there, Clark took the location as Techamuanvivit’s proper hand, zipping between the Bay House and Thailand to enforce the chef’s trendy Thai menus at each San Francisco’s Family Khao and Nahm, the Bangkok eating place which the restaurateur took over remaining 12 months. When Nari opened in Japantown this summer time, Techamuanvivit put in Clark as its chef de delicacies.

In her time as a cook dinner, Clark has delved into Mediterranean, Californian and Italian meals, finding out up to conceivable about each and every delicacies sooner than shifting directly to the following. “I bore simply,” she says. “However Thai meals is a rabbit hollow: Each time I believe I’ve a grab on what Thai meals is as a complete, I know about a brand new area that does issues very otherwise. I’m nonetheless as infatuated as after I first began consuming it.”

Miang with stone fruits and cured trout roe (clockwise from top right), gaeng kua with mussels, and khao tung and ngob at Nari in San Francisco. Photo: Stephen Lam / Special To The Chronicle

Miang with stone end result and cured trout roe (clockwise from peak proper), gaeng kua with mussels, and khao tung and ngob at Nari in San Francisco.

(Stephen Lam / Particular To The Chronicle | San Francisco Chronicle)

All the way through her journeys to Bangkok, Clark used to be skilled by means of famend culinarians like cooking instructor Nantana Chitman, who opened her as much as the extra complicated facet of Thai meals. On one shuttle, she realized learn how to make khao chae, a shockingly labor-intensive rice dish this is emblematic of imperial delicacies. “American citizens regularly suppose Thai meals is solely boulevard meals,” Clark says. “And that’s now not even the most efficient a part of it. Thai meals has a large number of wealthy historical past of superbly ready foods. Attending to enjoy a few of that used to be truly mindblowing.”

Her love for the delicacies is in complete impact at Nari. The meals is shocking and filled with seafood-centric deep cuts of Thai-Californian taste: uncooked Kumamoto oysters flavored with pineapple and the playful je-ne-sais-quoi of water beetle aroma; native stone end result, chopped and served on huge betel leaves with fish sauce caramel and trout roe; curried red meat dip with Early Woman tomatoes and chicharrones; and a hush-inspiring tackle bua loy that includes raspberries and heat globs of glutinous rice flour in a cooling soup of coconut milk coloured moss-green with pandan oil.

The plethora of bizarre Californian components at the menu is the results of Clark’s and Techamuanvivit’s collaboration. When the chef items Clark with a classical Thai recipe, she’ll contemplate how to reach the similar combos of flavors with what’s proper in entrance of her. “I truly see my process as working out techniques to reach the similar taste a dish must have the usage of native components, now not uploading the entirety from Thailand.” The place’s the thrill in that? she asks.

— S.H.


Vincent Medina (left) and Louis Trevino of Cafe Ohlone in Berkeley. Photo: Stephen Lam / Special To The Chronicle

Vincent Medina (left) and Louis Trevino of Cafe Ohlone in Berkeley.

(Stephen Lam / Particular To The Chronicle | San Francisco Chronicle)

Vincent Medina & Louis Trevino

Cafe Ohlone

2430 Bancroft Manner, Berkeley

The couple showcasing their true California delicacies

Vincent Medina and Louis Trevino, the couple at the back of the year-old Cafe Ohlone pop-up, aren’t given to important pronouncements or bombasticism. Even after their venture gained regional and nationwide protection in New York and Los Angeles, the lads have stored growth to a considerate minimal, hiring only a few tribal individuals as further fingers. Probably the most bold thought they have got for the cafe is to extend into the studying room of College Press Books, to stain the ground with pink ochre, paint the partitions with a mural and support the atmosphere with chandeliers fabricated from California Indian-made baskets. That’s nonetheless underneath negotiation, however Medina and Trevino even have a large number of quieter concepts within the works.

Whilst maximum pop-up cooks and operators can be drawing up plans for a brick-and-mortar or relationship traders, Cafe Ohlone simply isn’t about that. It’s the forward-facing facet of mak-’amham, a company led by means of Medina and Trevino. After they’re now not serving meals on the cafe, they bring about Ohlone kids and elders into the hills of the East Bay, to village websites, and establish vegetation by means of their local names: yerba buena is čawrišim; bay laurel is sokoote; Indian lettuce is rooreh. They’re additionally hoping to get Bay House acorns identified as a secure culinary useful resource by means of Gradual Meals World.

Diners enjoy their meal at Cafe Ohlone in Berkeley, Calif. on Saturday, September 21, 2019. Photo: Stephen Lam, Special To The Chronicle

Diners revel in their meal at Cafe Ohlone in Berkeley, Calif. on Saturday, September 21, 2019. (Stephen Lam, Particular To The Chronicle | San Francisco Chronicle)

Accordingly, the 2 males have stored their four-day-a-week meals carrier layout most commonly the similar: Over platters of acorn breads, foraged salads and smoked mushrooms served at the back of a bookstall in Berkeley, Medina patiently walks diners during the historical past of the Ohlone other people, from pre-contact to the established order of the missions to the present day.

On every occasion he talks about Ohlone traditions and recipes, Medina is cautious to emphasise phrases like “dwelling” and “alive.” For a neighborhood that has fought for reputation, each political and cultural, being relegated to a historic artifact can be comparable to a loss of life sentence. For too lengthy, Medina says, Ohlone other people had been stored out of the tale of California. Similar to their paintings reviving their respective local languages, introducing Ohlone recipes into the canon of what we now name California delicacies is a part of their paintings towards self-determination.

“What we’re seeking to do is train other people by means of appearing how a lot we like and admire our tradition — and appearing that unabashedly,” Medina says. For so long as they are able to, Medina and Trevino will paintings to extend non-Indian other people’s figuring out of why Ohlone meals issues. “There’s extra to this tale than what they’re being instructed. It’s the primary tradition of this position, and a testomony to our energy.”

— S.H.


Sayat and Laura Ozyilmaz, owners and executive chefs of Noosh, their restaurant in San Francisco. Photo: Stephen Lam / Special To The Chronicle

Sayat and Laura Ozyilmaz, homeowners and government cooks of Noosh, their eating place in San Francisco.

(Stephen Lam / Particular To The Chronicle | San Francisco Chronicle)

Laura & Sayat Ozyilmaz


2001 Fillmore St., San Francisco


In Pacific Heights, a forward-thinking eating place in additional techniques than one

Laura and Sayat Ozyilmaz are the spouse and husband group at the back of the meals at Noosh, a classy eating place on Fillmore that redefines such a lot about Bay House eating places, from each culinary and operational issues of view.

At Noosh, their japanese Mediterranean dishes would possibly seem easy — a yogurt broth, a flatbread, a falafel, a pita sandwich — however each and every displays the Ozyilmazes. That $6 yogurt broth is their model of a Turkish regional soup, endemic to the country nation-state. It comes with a efficiency and style that might give it a spot on a tasting menu. That $16 mushroom flatbread is spiked with ajika, a sauce that comprises marigold flora from Laura’s local Mexico. The listing is going on.

However first, their tale.

Laura used to be born in Mexico, the place cooking used to be all the time lifestyles: “I sought after to be a chef since I take into account,” she says. “I used to be 14 and mentioned that is what I sought after to do.” She enrolled in culinary faculty in Mexico, after which went to the Culinary Institute of The usa in Hyde Park, N.Y., the place she met Istanbul-born Sayat. He used to be a career-changer, a Dartmouth Faculty-trained engineer lured in by means of the guarantees of meals. “While you amalgamate the entire causes I selected cooking, it used to be principally a technique to self-express and likewise a box the place I may well be entrepreneurial,” he says.

At Noosh on Fillmore in S.F., mushroom and kale flatbread (clockwise from bottom right), green salad with preserved lemon, muhammara with urfa almonds (center) and chubby pita. Photo: Stephen Lam / Special To The Chronicle

At Noosh on Fillmore in S.F., mushroom and kale flatbread (clockwise from backside proper), inexperienced salad with preserved lemon, muhammara with urfa almonds (middle) and overweight pita.

(Stephen Lam / Particular To The Chronicle | San Francisco Chronicle)

The 2 younger chefs fell in love, sharing (amongst different issues) an pastime in high quality eating eating places, temporarily filling up their respective resumes with one of the crucial international’s peak eating places: Café Boulud, 11 Madison Park, Mugaritz, Blue Hill at Stone Barns, Le Bernardin, Husk, Pujol.

They in the end landed in a few of San Francisco’s maximum cutting edge modernist eating places: Laura at Saison and Sayat at Mourad. Right here, they made a reputation for themselves thru a habitual pop-up named Istanbul Fashionable.

“It used to be some way to connect to our tradition,” says Sayat, who grew up in a blue-collar Armenian circle of relatives in Istanbul. He noticed minorities’ cultures like his personal driven apart; what if he and Laura celebrated the ones traditions as an alternative? They regarded to Armenia, Georgia, Israel, Lebanon, Turkey. “We founded an idea round cultural exploration — an japanese Mediterranean that might’ve been.”

That concept turned into Noosh, an off-the-cuff eating place in Pacific Heights that may be a forward-thinking style for long run eating places in additional ways in which one.

The eating place area itself is brightly coloured and on-trend, breezy and buzzy. Nevertheless it’s the vegetable-centric menu this is specifically masterfully designed. It’s each novel and approachable — lots of the pieces are distinctive to Noosh, the results of the chef-owners’ trips. However glance extra intently, and also you’ll see the main points: Lots of the choices are person parts, which limits plating time, and there’s now not a large number of customization choices, some other boon for the kitchen. The menu’s static nature lends itself to scalability as smartly. There’s an on-trend Georgian wine program. There are ingenious cocktails. There’s on-line ordering. There’s supply. It’s a wise eating place for 21st century San Francisco.

“We needed to offer a modern enjoy,” says Sayat of Noosh’s layout. “Plates shared throughout a desk, that’s the Heart Jap approach of doing issues. That’s how other people have sat around the desk with households as they have got for millennia. That’s the place we expect eating wishes to move to provide worth.”

— Paolo Lucchesi,


Chefs Joyce Conway (left) and Mel Lopez of Pearl 6101 in San Francisco. Photo: Stephen Lam / Special To The Chronicle

Cooks Joyce Conway (left) and Mel Lopez of Pearl 6101 in San Francisco.

(Stephen Lam / Particular To The Chronicle | San Francisco Chronicle)

Joyce Conway & Mel Lopez

Pearl 6101

6101 California St., San Francisco


How two easiest pals created an area jewel

At Pearl 6101, the all-day Outer Richmond stunner, a marble bar snakes across the light-filled room, in the end resulting in a shoebox-size open kitchen. There, flanked by means of a wood-fired oven and a row of glossy pots, a small staff of chefs works in shut proximity, quietly tossing in combination salads or plating a fish entree, regularly with amusing or two.

Cooks Mel Lopez and Joyce Conway are a part of the choreography, placing out the type of meals you need to consume each day, however may also thankfully trek throughout the city to take a look at: Halibut crudo is a find out about in contrasts, with candy strawberries dancing with crunchy Marcona almonds, highly spiced serrano cash and tart nuoc cham. Chermoula-doused cauliflower and slivered almonds come piled on black tahini hummus. Spaghetti is studded with highly spiced anchovies, confit tomatoes, lemon and garlic breadcrumbs. As Lopez says, “It’s distinctive, but additionally very acquainted.”

At Pearl 6101 in S.F.’s Outer Richmond, halibut crudo and handkerchief pasta. Photo: Stephen Lam / Special To The Chronicle

At Pearl 6101 in S.F.’s Outer Richmond, halibut crudo and handkerchief pasta.

(Stephen Lam / Particular To The Chronicle | San Francisco Chronicle)

It’s a type of California delicacies that speaks to the instant, but additionally to its creators, Lopez and Conway. The 2 Northern California natives — Lopez is from Stockton; Conway from Hayward — met whilst running at Bix in downtown San Francisco. Over the following 11 years, they might change into easiest pals. In the end they might sign up for forces at a per 30 days pop-up eating place staffed totally by means of girls (they known as it B.L.U.D.).

Lopez had labored for 5 years at Richmond District gem Pizzetta 211, so when the adjoining laundromat turned into to be had, seven other people from Pizzetta 211 jumped on the alternative to show it into Pearl 6101. Lopez introduced Conway into the fold, making for 8 companions, the usage of the financial savings they earned from B.L.U.D. as their funding within the eating place. “It’s indubitably now not a standard setup observed in different eating places,” says Lopez.

Pearl 6101 opened in 2018. Many of the companions have a couple of jobs on the all-day eating place, making for a gaggle of fellow workers the place everyone seems to be invested within the endeavor. Lopez is the chief chef, and Conway is the chef de delicacies. In conjunction with sous chef Robin Kloess, the pair have created one thing particular in that little kitchen.

“It’s nice,” says Lopez. “We’re like the similar individual. Other people suppose we’re sisters. Our personalities simply fit completely. We’re simply, like, one.”

San Francisco has a storied custom of transcendent community eating places, the ones little bistros that space good cooking in an approachable atmosphere and in some way come to outline an technology: Firefly, the Space, Delfina, Frances, Outerlands, Al’s Position.

Pearl 6101 is the newest in that lineage.

— P.L.

Chef Matt Horn of Horn Barbecue at the restaurant’s soon to open location. Photo: Stephen Lam / Special To The Chronicle

Chef Matt Horn of Horn Barbeque on the eating place’s quickly to open location.

(Stephen Lam / Particular To The Chronicle | San Francisco Chronicle)

Matt Horn

Horn Barbeque

Scheduled to open in overdue fall at 2534 Mandela Limited-access highway, Oakland


The person who’s placing Oakland barbeque at the map

What makes Matt Horn particular within the barbeque international? This is, except being a skill in a area devoid of any actual barbeque custom.

Horn’s barbeque association is most likely closest to Texas-style at the back of his use of smoke and flavorful rubs, however if truth be told it’s an amalgamation of more than a few influences.

His brisket, for instance, is slowly smoked and caked in a coffee-based, peppery rub. The outer edges have a crunch that provides technique to meat that’s mushy, virtually buttery. The brisket is a wink to East Texas in execution.

Central Texas, in the meantime is obvious in Horn’s smoked sausages and scorching hyperlinks, the pitmaster’s most well liked merchandise. Ready in small batches and supposed extra to counterpoint the brisket (or hen or ribs) on a barbeque plate, they’re in contrast to any variations somewhere else within the Bay House.

Matt Horn specializes in barbecue, ranging from brisket to sausage. Photo: Matt Horn / Copyright 2019. All rights reserved.

Matt Horn makes a speciality of barbeque, starting from brisket to sausage. (Matt Horn | San Francisco Chronicle)

Those meat platters are the main explanation why that Horn’s roaming Bay House pop-up has change into the stuff of legend within the remaining 12 months, vaulting him into the nationwide dialog. This present day, Horn Barbeque strains stretch complete town blocks; getting a slice of brisket can take hours. The meals all the time sells out, and a few other people convey tenting apparatus to house the wait.

However there’s just right information for barbeque fans, particularly those that need an more uncomplicated access level to these completely smoked meats.

Horn is within the means of opening his first brick-and-mortar eating place, in West Oakland, at a small albeit well known spot on Mandela Limited-access highway — the previous house of Tanya Holland’s Brown Sugar Kitchen soul meals eating place, with regards to the web page of his unique pop-ups. He does now not have a collection opening date but, however after a short lived rework, changing some apparatus and a touch of paint, Horn mentioned he hopes to be open by means of overdue fall.

An unstated rule within the barbeque international is maximum cooks stick with their regional specialties. However Horn comes from Southern California, a area with out barbeque reference issues or types. As a substitute, he mixed a well-liked Bay House logo aesthetic — hipster elegant with darkish colours and dramatic footage — with an otherworldly mixing of Texas types. The result’s superbly confounding, like seeing somebody browsing in a cowboy hat.

“This can be a new bankruptcy and it’s one thing I’ve all the time sought after,” Horn says. “There’s historical past within the area, there’s historical past within the house as it’s the place I had my get started at one level. All of it simply is sensible.”

— Justin Phillips,

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