Update: The nominations process has now closed.
Eater Young Guns is our annual roll call of the next guard, and today marks the beginning of our 2015 search to identify the most promising up-and-comers in the restaurant and nightlife world. The aim of Young Guns is to seek out and celebrate new talents shaking up the industry, whether they're working the line, managing the front of house, shaking cocktails, or kickstarting a restaurant empire. In the past three years, Eater's highlighted the careers of 47 winners — including this season's Top Chef winner Mei Lin from LA, Charleston bar expert and restaurateur Brooks Reitz, and Boston hometown hero Tim Maslow — hailing from across the country and all over the industry (the 2014 class included a barista, a butcher, and a pair of food truck owners).
The criteria are simple. Nominees must be under 30 years of age — or have worked in their field for less than five years — and must be currently employed in the hospitality industry in the United States and Canada. They're not yet household names, but they show extraordinary promise. These kids are working with their heads down and haven't received recognition they deserve.
To find these up-and-comers, we're opening nominations up to the public. Know an amazing young sommelier, a genius baker in the making, or a burgeoning chef? We want to hear about them. We're asking for your input right here. This process will be open through Monday, March 2.
Then, we'll put our heads together with the legends of the industry who agreed to serve on the Young Guns selection committee. The winners will be contacted in May, and the 2015 class will be announced and toasted at a gala event this June.
But first: nominations. Do you know someone who deserves to be honored as an Eater Young Gun? Fill out the nomination form here; if you have additional supporting materials (anything from Instagram photos of brilliant pop-up menus or pastry porn to local newspaper articles), please send them our way at firstname.lastname@example.org.