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Eater Young Guns 2017: Nominees by the Numbers

Breaking down the nominations for this year's best new industry talent

It’s Young Guns season. The public nominations are all in, the panel of judges has been announced, and soon, a list of semifinalists will be revealed. But now, it’s the perfect time to divulge some information on the incredibly talented 2017 nominees.

This year, Eater received nominations for people from 101 different cities across the United States and Canada, all of whom play vital roles in kitchens and restaurants as line cooks, chefs of all kinds, pit masters, service managers, bar managers, wine directors and importers, cocktail curators, baristas, sommeliers, GMs, and managing partners.

The youngest nominee has already graduated college, worked under Emeril Lagasse, and been hired as chef at one of his culinary heroes’ restaurants — at the tender age of 20. The oldest nominees are a pair of wine bar owners and operators, who are both 43 but have only been in the industry for an year and a half. Here’s more:

Total nominations: 1,240
Most nominations for a single nominee: 52
Nominations that mentioned pop ups: 11
Nominations for vegetarian/vegan chefs: 3
Nominations for pit masters: 5
Nominations from proud aunts and uncles: 12 (another 6 came from grandmothers and grandfathers)

Regional breakdown of nominees:

  • Midwest: 17.1%
  • California: 13.3%
  • South: 21.3%
  • Northeast: 7.2%
  • New York/New Jersey/Connecticut: 10.7%
  • Texas: 8.1%
  • Pacific Northwest: 4%
  • Mid-Atlantic: 12.9%
  • Mountain/Vegas/Southwest: 2.8%


  • Canada: 2.4% (10 nominees)
  • Hawaii: 0.2% (1 nominee)

Soon, the 2017 semifinalists will be announced. While you’re waiting, be sure to check out last year’s class of stellar Young Guns.