Ladies and gentlemen, an announcement: This November, Eater will host the third annual Eater Awards feting the best chefs, restaurants, and industry talent across the nation. As usual, a lineup of 10 all-star chefs from the hottest restaurants in the country will fly in to cook for the occasion at The Bowery Hotel, and for many it will be their New York debut.
What's different this time around? You're invited. The night before the awards, the chefs will cook their dishes for the public at a tasting event we're calling Eater Eve. The event—Sunday, November 11, from 6-9 p.m.—will feature mind-blowing dishes from each chef, plus an open bar and, obviously, the chance to witness miracles.
Previous Eater Awards have featured the NYC debuts of Mission Chinese, Pok Pok, and Franklin Barbecue. Who are this year's stars?
Stuart Brioza and Nicole Krasinski, Statebird Provisions, San Francisco, CA
San Franciscans endure three-hour long waits to eat State Bird Provisions' whimsically Californian, dim-sum-minded menu. Whether it's savory pancakes stacked with local cheese, eggplant "fries," or a new take on tofu skin, their menus and flavor profiles are always eye-opening, sometimes even off-the-wall.
Justin Yu, Oxheart, Houston, TX
Houston may be known for its meat obsession, but Justin Yu's imaginative, exacting treatment of vegetables has earned his restaurant, three-month old, 30-seat Oxheart (named after the carrot), a rabid following and a month-long wait for a table. Yu brought the training he's received at restaurants such as California's Ubuntu and Belgium's In de Wulf to downtown Houston, where he's earned four stars from Houston Chronicle critic Alison Cook and eighth best new restaurant in the country from Bon Appetit's Andrew Knowlton.
Tim Cushman, O Ya, Boston, MA
Despite having only 37 seats, Tim Cushman's Boston restaurant O Ya was once anointed the the number one best new U.S. restaurant outside New York City by then New York Times restaurant critic Frank Bruni, Andrew Zimmern recently called it one of his top five favorite restaurants in the whole freaking country, and this year Cushman won the James Beard Foundation award for Best Chef in the Northeast. Cushman has cooked alongside some of the world's most famous sushi chefs, including Nobu Matsuhisa, and it shows in his perfectly composed, wildly original, predominantly Japanese creations.
Mike Doyle, Maurepas Foods, New Orleans, LA
"If you're talking about putting a bunch of pickles all over brussels sprouts," Chef Mike Doyle has said, "I'm pretty much your guy." His beloved southern food mecca Maurepas Foods only opened in 2012 and is already New Orleans' favorite purveyor of robust cuisine, making the New York Times-hailed chef the purveyor of cool.
Justin Hilbert, Gwynnett St., Brooklyn, NY
wd-50 alum Justin Hilbert combines modern technique with traditional and highly seasonal American flavors at Gwynnett St., an unexpected Brooklyn hit that
has drawn critics and food fanatics to the none too pretty eastern edges of Williamsburg. In its short life the restaurant has received two stars from the Times and positive reviews from Bloomberg, the Post, and The New Yorker, which praised Hilbert for "serving defiantly grownup food to Williamsburg's skinny-jeans crowd."
Jeff McInnis, Yardbird/Swine, Miami, FL
After a stint on Top Chef and catapulting gigi into Miami's restaurant scene, Jeff McInnis opened Yardbird Southern Table & Bar with restaurant group 50 Eggs. Within just a year of opening, Yardbird has been nominated as a semi-finalist for a James Beard Award for Best New Restaurant 2012 and McInnis for Best Chef in the South 2012.
Greg and Gabrielle Denton, OX, Portland, OR
Husband-and-wife team Greg and Gabrielle Quiñonez Denton lit up Portland's dining scene with the 2012 opening of their Argentine-inspired restaurant Ox, a spot where wood-grilled simplicity meets evil-genius concoctions like sweetbread "croutons." Greg Denton was the recipient of Eater PDX's 2011 Eater Award for "Chef of the Year" for his work at Metrovino.
Ford Fry, The Optimist, Atlanta, GA
Ford Fry's three Atlanta restaurants are consistently put on the city's top lists. The Optimist, Fry's "fish camp and oyster bar" that opened in May, was recently named Esquire's Best New Restaurant of 2012, and No. 246 and JCT Kitchen, his Italian and Southern eateries, are renowned as well. The chef's restaurant empire is still expanding, too— his latest, an unnamed Colonial American-style project, is slated to open in January.
Plus our hosting chef: Chris D'Amico, Gemma, NYC
With a striking design by Taavo Somer, and a menu of rustic Italian fare from chef Chris D'Amico, Gemma has been serving the movers and shakers of downtown Manhattan since 2007.