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Eater Young Guns: Where Are They Now?

Winning Beard awards, building empires, and breaking ground on new restaurants.

St. Alban
St. Alban
Leslie McKellar/Eater CHS

On Monday morning, Eater will announce its new class of industry up-and-comers. But what about the past winners? What have they been doing since taking home the champagne bottle trophy? Eater checked in with 47 former Young Guns (the distinguished classes of 2012, 2013, and 2014) to see what paths they've forged in the past few years. Here's just a glance at what they've been up to...

The alum accolades are impressive. Perhaps making the biggest splash soon after her victory is Mei Lin, the sous chef at ink. who went on to win the last season of Top Chef. Jessica Largey, the longtime Manresa chef de cuisine and 2012 winner, was named the Rising Star Chef at this year's James Beard Awards. Many Young Guns are part of Beard-recognized teams, including JJ Johnson at The Cecil in New York City and Erling Wu-Bower of Chicago's Nico Osteria. Cole Dickinson took home a victory on Chopped and Matt Danko was praised as People’s Best New Pastry Chef by Food and Wine. And the list goes on.

Leon's Oyster Shop. [Photo: Remy Thurston]

Young Gun-owned and operated restaurants are opening up across the country. In Charleston, 2013 winner Brooks Reitz left The Ordinary to launch two popular spots: Leon's Oyster Shop and all-day cafe Saint Alban. Former McCrady's chef de cuisine Jeremiah Langhorne exited Charleston for DC, where his forthcoming restaurant The Dabney is so highly anticipated the Washington Post ran a three-part series on him in the past year. Fellow Mid-Atlantic chef Jeremy Hoffman left Restaurant Eve to open his own place Preserve, a seasonal spot in Annapolis.

Up in Boston, Gregory Shore transitioned from the famed Island Creek Oyster Farm to their restaurant, before opening the doors at Row 34, a "workingman's oyster bar" which was list-checked a number of times in the past year and will soon be getting a new location. Just a few miles away, Tim Maslow, formerly of Strip-T's, has been running Ribelle since 2013. His work earned a 4-star review from the Boston Globe and has been on the Eater 38 (alongside Row 34). Boston's O Ya will open a New York outpost very soon with help from manager and sake expert Alyssa DiPasquale.

Ribelle [Photo: Nick DeNatale] and Jason Wang [Photo: Daniel Krieger]

The empire builder behind Xi'an Famous Foods, Jason Wang, has continued to expand his domain and now has nine outposts across New York City. Portland-based pastry chef Alissa Frice (née Rozos) opened Frice Pastry with her husband, and landed on Eater PDX's seasonal sweetmap soon after opening.

Many former Young Guns checked in to say they're still at the same company, but have moved up the ladder, deepened their knowledge of their craft, or have something big on the horizon that they can't divulge just yet. We'll be watching.


We're honoring the 2015 Eater Young Guns class on Monday, June 8, at a party in the Viceroy Santa Monica from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. and we're giving two tickets to one winner in the greater Los Angeles area. Follow @eater on Twitter and tweet us your ideas for the next big restaurant trends using the hashtag #eyg15 for a chance to win. Winners will be notified by 6 p.m. ET on Friday, June 5, via Twitter.

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. The Eater Young Guns 2015 Giveaway starts on 6/3/2015 at 12:00:01PM ET and ends on 6/5/2015 at 4:59:59PM ET. Open only to eligible legal residents of the Los Angeles Metro Area, 21 years or older. Click here for Official Rules and complete details, including entry instructions, odds of winning, prize details and restrictions, etc. Void outside of the Los Angeles metro area and where prohibited or restricted by law. Sponsor: Eater

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