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The Food Names You Need to Know About in 2018

From the Editor: How this year’s Eater Young Guns are working to create restaurants and spaces that are more inclusive and diverse

Eater Young Gun DeVonn Francis
Gary He

This post originally appeared on July 21, 2018, in Amanda Kludt’s newsletter “From the Editor,” a roundup of the most vital news and stories in the food world each week. Read the archives and subscribe now.

This week, we honored our seventh annual class of Eater Young Guns, our look at up-and-coming food-world talent from across the U.S. Every year we ask our readers to nominate promising talent under the age of 30 or new to the business — they send in thousands. Then we consult our committee of esteemed industry veterans and local city editors. We ask ourselves whether and how this person will make an impact on our world.

I’m really pleased with where we (or, credit where due, our leaders on this project, Sonia Chopra and Katie Abbondanza) landed with the 2018 class. I believe it does a good job representing the diversity of talent out there, not just in terms of the types of people highlighted but the types of paths they’re following.

It feels appropriate that in addition to hyper-talented chefs and bakers and coffee nuts, this year we have someone who throws parties focused on social justice for farmers, food sovereignty, and empowerment. And a conservationist and butcher shop owner who wants you to eat less meat. And a 26-year-old owner of a group of hip Chinese restaurants in New York who exhibits enormous compassion and lack of ego.

Everyone in this year’s class seems to think beyond themselves when considering their careers. They’re considering how can we all work together to create spaces that are more inclusive, more diverse, more thoughtful, safer, smarter.

This group just feels very now to me, and I think it bodes well for the future of this industry.

As a bonus this year, we recruited some of our favorite writers from around the food world to tell you about why these people are so special.

Korsha Wilson writes about how Chelsea Gregoire uses her training as a preacher to inform her work behind the bar. Julia Turshen learns that Caitlin McMillan, the one-woman special-forces operative working under restaurateurs Michael Solomonov and Steve Cook, is focusing on the well-being of workers in the industry. Dayna Evans explains how Daniel Alvarez went from original Cronut fryer to debuting his own cult-classic pastry for Danny Meyer. Mari Uyehara covers a woman who overcame roadblocks aplenty to open her own distillery, Tien Nguyen profiles a star GM out of LA, Rachel Khong spends time with “the talk of Cambodia” in Oakland, and oh so much more. Please check out the full list of winners and keep an eye out for their names and projects over the months and years to come.

Openings of the week:

Manhatta in New York
Alex Staniloff

The major place I need to try ASAP (and I’m taking a girlfriend tonight) is Manhatta, allegedly the most spectacular New York restaurant to open since Windows on the World. Located on the 60th floor of 28 Liberty Street in downtown Manhattan, the new Danny Meyer restaurant serves a prix fixe of dishes like lobster quenelles, veal blanquette, and butterscotch souffle, and I better see some damn proposals.

Also, next time I go to LA, I’m going to Hippo.

On Eater

Intel: The teams behind NY’s Eleven Madison Park and London’s Hawksmoor pulled out of high-profile deals at Three World Trade Center in New York (Hawksmoor will instead open in Gramercy); a big name in the world of cocktails was arrested this week for an alleged rape during Tales of the Cocktail in 2015; five women accused a Seattle restaurateur of sexual assault; female employees at D.C. restaurant Acqua Al 2 allege a longstanding culture of sexual harassment; the team behind Michelin-starred London restaurant Clove Club will open a third restaurant; the labor shortage in Denver is really real; 65-year-old Austin diner the Frisco closes next week; the founder of Papa John’s is even more despicable than you thought; a big new food fest is coming to Chicago; acclaimed chef Peter Chang is adding another restaurant to his empire in the D.C. suburbs; SF now has an experiential water bar and an activated charcoal food festival while LA got a Cheat Day “museum”; an upscale Chicago restaurant linked to star sommelier Alpana Singhclosed after the owners lost a $1.5 million suit with their landlords over back rent; Chicago restaurant critic Phil Vettel ditched the anonymityafter 29 years; Shake Shack will expand to the Philippines; famed steakhouse Peter Luger will open in Tokyo in 2020; D.C. chef Mike Isabella, recently accused of sexual harassment, is now in trouble with his landlord; and California destination Manresa suffered its second major fire in four years.

Summer cookbooks to know

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