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Every year, Eater editors search for talented up-and-comers in the restaurant industry to name to our latest class of Young Guns. The rules are simple: The contenders must be under the age of 30 or have fewer than five years experience in the bar and restaurant world. And they’re dedicated to their craft and doing so well that we expect they’ll soon be household names.

We begin by reading through thousands of reader-submitted nominees and consulting with our committee of esteemed industry veterans and local city editors. We ask ourselves, what is the person doing in their restaurant/bar/community now? What are their mentors and coworkers saying about them? What are their aspirations and how do they hope to achieve them? This is Eater’s seventh year naming Young Guns and the process of selecting winners never gets easier.

In May, Eater announced 54 semifinalists, an inspiring group of chefs (sweet and savory), front of house pros, restaurateurs, coffee folks, and more, who are working across the country. Today, 18 new Young Guns will be revealed, joining the ranks of restaurant owners, award winners, and industry talent that’s shaping the future of the dining world.

While experience, location, and areas of focus all vary, everyone in this year’s class seems to think beyond themselves when considering their careers. They’re not simply saying, what can I do to succeed? Instead, they’re thinking about how can we all work together to create spaces that are more inclusive, diverse, thoughtful, safer, smarter.

This year’s winners have already achieved a lot, but their futures are even brighter. We can’t wait to see what they accomplish, and how they’ll improve the industry for future generations, in the years to come.

Now, please meet the 2018 class of Eater Young Guns:

Amelie Kang, Caitlin McMillan, Chelsea Gregoire, Christine Larroucau, Daniel Alvarez, DeVonn Francis, Gabe Barker, Kaitlyn Caruke, Kate Kavanaugh, Laura Johnson, Lena Sareini, Nico de Leon, Niels Brisbane, Nite Yun, Sahil Rahman and Rahul Vinod, Shota Nakajima, and Sumi Ali.


Writers: Liana Aghajanian, Aaron Edwards, Osayi Endolyn, Dayna Evans, Soleil Ho, Rachel Khong, Priya Krishna, Tien Nguyen, Kevin Pang, Fariha Róisín, Mayukh Sen, Julia Turshen, Mari Uyehara, Korsha Wilson, Tiffany Yannetta
Editors: Katie Abbondanza, Sonia Chopra
Special thanks: Monica Burton, Patty Diez, Hillary Dixler, Brittany Holloway-Brown, Ellie Krupnick, Milly McGuinness, Mariya Pylalev

Previous Eater Young Guns winners: 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012