NEW VANGUARD OF SUPERSTAR CHEFS
Up-and-coming today, household name tomorrow: These five kitchen standouts are shaping the face of the foodie scene.
Native Coloradan Lucas Billheimer, 35, brings his Rocky Mountain high spirit and contemporary farm-to-table sensibility to regional American classics (New England clam chowder, dry-rubbed baby back ribs, veal meatloaf) at The Writing Room (1703 Second Ave.), located in the former home of the late, legendary Elaine’s.
Recently promoted from executive sous chef at Michael White’s seafoodcentric Marea (240 Central Park South), 31-year-old Lauren DeSteno is a top toque in one of the most profitable kitchens in the city. She gracefully manages 24 men (four sous chefs, 20 cooks), yet the 2006 CIA graduate seems nonplussed by all the media attention focused on her gender.
Twenty-something partners Jeremiah Stone and Fabian von Hauske are the hottest duo in any NYC kitchen right now. At Contra (138 Orchard St.), their daily-changing, Modern American five-course tasting menu ($55) is a phenomenon.
Todd Mitgang, 34, lets the good times roll all over Bo’s Kitchen & Bar Room’s (6 W. 24th St.) N’awlins-inspired menu, where specialties include crispy fried alligator, curried goat and blackened redfish with parsnip, Sharon fruit, okra and crabby sauce.
An alum of Per Se and Jean-Georges, Jesse Schenker, 31, has been wowing crowds at Recette (328 W. 12th St.) since 2010. At his instant hot spot, The Gander (15 W. 18th St.), the wunderkind’s urban twists on American cuisine include casual touches like Buffalo sweetbreads, shrimp toast au jus and brisket tots.