Food & Wine magazine has honored three Los Angeles chefs with its 29th annual Best New Chefs list. The magazine named Jordan Kahn, chef-owner of Culver City restaurant Destroyer, along with Sara Kramer and Sarah Hymanson of Kismet in Los Feliz and Madcapra at Grand Central Market, as three of its 12 Best New Chefs for 2017.
This is the first time the magazine has recognized three Los Angeles chefs in a single year. Last year, Night Market’s Kris Yenbamroong was among the winners. Other past SoCal winners have included some of this city’s most lauded chefs, including Ori Menashe of Bestia, Ari Taymor of Alma, Michael Voltaggio of Ink, Bryant Ng of Cassia, Ricardo Zarate of the late Mo-Chica, Roy Choi of the Kogi trucks and Carlos Salgado of Taco María in Costa Mesa.
The magazine editors chose the chefs over a monthlong selection process that included opinions from restaurant critics and food writers from across the country.
"We love to find chefs who are defying convention and helping us rethink how we eat,” said Food & Wine editor Nilou Motamed
Kahn, Hymanson and Kramer represent a larger group of Los Angeles chefs who tend to play by their own rules. This is, after all, the city that gave you an all-day market counter devoted to runny egg yolks (Eggslut), the Kogi Korean BBQ/Mexican food truck (thank you, Roy Choi) and Wes Avila’s terrific sweet potato tacos (Guerilla Tacos).
Kahn, who is working on a second Culver City restaurant called Vespertine, made a name for himself in Los Angeles at the late avant-garde restaurant Red Medicine. He’s now making pretty bowls of beef tartare, smoked egg cream and pickled mushrooms at Destroyer, his tiny restaurant in the Hayden Tract area of Culver City.
“At Destroyer, Jordan holds the line for a style of cooking that is often locked up inside extravagant tasting menus,” said Motamed. “He’s an artist, using food as a medium.”
Hymanson and Kramer introduced Los Angeles to their version of falafel at Madcapra, their stall inside Grand Central Market in 2015. The two chefs, who hail from Glasserie in Brooklyn, recently opened their version of a Mediterranean restaurant in Kismet, a sunlit space in Los Feliz that turns out Turkish-ish breakfast platters, plates of kuku and bowls of Persian cucumber with za’atar-dusted labneh.
“Sara and Sarah have a modern, global perspective that allows them to encounter Middle Eastern ingredients with fresh eyes and combine them in a thoughtful way that feels exciting, progressive, deeply Californian, unapologetically feminine…and, of course, wildly delicious,” said Motamed.
Kahn, Kramer and Hymanson will be honored, along with the nine other honorees, on Tuesday in New York City. The winners will also be featured in the July issue of the magazine.
The full list of winners is available at Foodandwine.com.