Food & Wine magazine was calling attention to up-and-coming toques before just about any other organization; its Best New Chefs program–which debuted in 1988–even predates the James Beard Foundation Awards by three years. On the heels of the big reveal of the Class of 2016, we’re joined in studio by Food & Wine‘s new editor-in-chief Nilou Motamed and by two just-named Best New Chefs Jeremiah Stone and Fabian von Hauske of Contra and Wildair restaurants in New York City. 2015 inductee Katie Button of Asheville, North Carolina’s Curate, shares her experience one year in, and for some historical perspective, 1990 Best New Chef Tom Valenti (most recently of New York City’s Ouest) describes the impact of being dubbed a Best New Chef in the program’s formative days. This being our last show of the season, we also take a look at the themes that have emerged over the past three months and try to take stock of them with the help of our guests.

front burner 04 07 16

“It is very challenging to narrow down all that talent to ten restaurants, and it’s something that we take very, very seriously.” [28:15] – Nilou Motamed