Chef Taste Guide

If you want to cut to the spirit of a city, talk to a chef. You might walk away with a list of must-hit restaurants; marching orders for exploring Chinatown; intel on that one oyster bar that pours moonshine for its favorite regulars. But talking to a chef is also a great way to understand the way a city can act as muse. A chef can use a restaurant to tell the story of their city’s diversity, or to tip their hat to the people who call it home. A menu can read like a torch song for the seasonal rhythms of a region, or the bounty of a local market. Talk to a chef and you can see the mark a city leaves on its creative class, and the way they use taste to carve a path right through the center of it. With that in mind, we asked chefs in five of our favorite american cities to show us the places, faces, flavors and ideas that shape their work, from the latin vitality and architectural splendor of Michelle Bernstein’s southern Florida, to the graffiti-splashed grit of Alex Stupak’s Manhattan. Here, we present the tales of New York, Miami, Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco as told through the minds and bellies of its favorite cooks.

“What I love about New York City is it's a big melting pot of energy, creativity, and delicious food.” – Chef April Bloomfield

“I just love all the different cultures in LA, all these people together, and you feel that, in the creativity of the food.” – Chef Ludo Lefebvre

"San Francisco is an amazing springboard; it affords you the opportunity to be weird and to create anything you want." - Chef Danny Bowien

"New York is a creative city. It is a city that is always inventing and reinventing itself" - Chef Alex Stupak

“One of the great things about Chicago is that you can travel the world just by visiting different neighborhoods, and exploring the cultures represented there.” - Chef Stephanie Izard

“Miami is a crazy mix of cultures and flavors and languages and music. It is vibrant and powerful and loud. It can be obnoxious but it has a beauty and a sensuality that you can’t find anywhere else in this country” - Chef Michelle Bernstein

“LA as a city really influences artist; being an artist and being a chef are very similar. Painting, sculpture, design, food - these have been huge parts of our existence here in Los Angeles."

- Chefs Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo

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