Emmer & Rye chef-owner Kevin Fink has been named one of the Best New Chefs in America by influential Food & Wine magazine. Fink, who moved to Austin from Arizona, opened the restaurant in November on Rainey Street and has impressed with his attention to heritage grains and from-scratch processes like fermentation.
Among the standouts at the restaurant are the homemade pasta dishes. I wrote in a February review: “Ancient white Sonoran wheat was used to fashion wavy ribbons of tensile pappardelle spun with juicy pork cheek and creamy straciatella in a fresh and mild arrabiata ($16).”
Fink joins 10 other chefs across the country in receiving the honor and will be featured in the July issue of Food & Wine magazine and appear at the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen in June.
It is the second consecutive year Austin has had representation on the list. Last year, Olamaie, where Fink worked briefly while waiting for his restaurant to open, received the honor.
This year’s winners join the ranks of past Best New Chefs such as Daniel Boulud, Thomas Keller, April Bloomfield, Nancy Silverton, Tom Colicchio, Michael Symon, Stephanie Izard, David Chang, Wylie Dufresne, John Besh, and Nobu Matsuhisa, among many others.
The editors at Food & Wine select “talented, creative chefs who have been in charge of a kitchen for five years or fewer,” according to a release. Previous winners include Daniel Boulud, Thomas Keller, April Bloomfield, Nancy Silverton, David Chang and Tom Colicchio.
FOOD & WINE’s editors choose the Best New Chefs after a months-long selection process. The editors solicit nominations from restaurant critics, food writers and other trusted experts around the country, searching for talented, creative chefs who have been in charge of a kitchen for five years or fewer. The editors then travel incognito to taste the food.Related: My February 25 review of Emmer & Rye