MICHAEL OTSUKAExecutive Chef, Thalia, New York City. Age: 34. Why he's rising: Having cooked professionally since age 17 at such legendary restaurants as Patina in Los Angeles, this West Coast native has relocated to New York City, where Thalia, named for the Greek muse of comedy, has made it respectable and desirable to eat in the theater district, which was long considered a joke of a dining destination. Background: Born and raised in Pasadena, Calif., to a Viennese-Jewish mother and a ...

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