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Eater Young Guns: On the Ground With the Future Leaders of the Restaurant World

Welcome to Eater’s new special section

I’ve had my eye on Eater Young Guns since the awards launched seven years ago. Like many of you, I appreciated the visibility the awards provided, highlighting ambitious people we’d likely hear more from down the road, whether they worked on the line, at the host stand, or in the back office. As this industry continues to evolve, the awards have, too. Eater has put a lot of thought into not just how Young Guns are selected and what areas of the country and professional spheres they represent, but what it means to be hailed as a Young Gun now — and in the future.

Today, thanks to sponsor Grey Goose, Eater launches a special section that will focus on Young Guns alumni and cover emerging figures who are doing great things. We’re interested in all aspects of a young(ish) person’s life in the restaurant industry: the breathtaking successes, the epic failures, the surprising twists, the disappointments, and the lessons learned. Expect practical recommendations, creative inspiration, real money talk, powerful personal stories, and fly-on-the-wall conversations you won’t have to be in the room to hear. We’ll touch base with past recipients of the award, ask them for useful advice that’s relevant to industry insiders and diners alike, and explore the many ways that the industry’s newest entrants choose to establish and challenge themselves, and get the support they need to build fruitful careers.

We also understand that the ability to be recognized for an award like Young Guns is often tied to where a person lives and works, and what kinds of references they have. So we’re opening up this section to share stories of folks who might not be a Young Gun, but who are still making waves in their communities.

For the next few months, I’ll work alongside Eater’s editorial team to jumpstart the Young Guns section. A note of clarification: This coverage is separate from the Eater Young Guns Awards and the subsequent profiles of our class of 2019, which will roll out over the next few months (stay tuned!). And at least for now, the process to submit and be considered an Eater Young Gun is still the same — a call for applications and nominations once a year, followed by a rigorous vetting process.

I hope you’ll hang with us as we look to these impressive professionals who care for us when we’re hungry, thirsty, and searching for the kind of comfort that only dining out can offer. The restaurant business is full of unpredictable terrain; we’re interested in the many ways these folks are navigating it.