Chef, Primi, Los Angeles
Age: 29. Why he's rising: It would be easy to get lost in the shadow of a big brother like Valentino, a restaurant New York Times critic Ruth Reichl says "serves the best Italian food I have ever eaten in America," but Primi, Piero Selvaggio's second restaurant, has dazzled the critics on the strength of Glaudo's authentic Italian cooking. Was a final-ist in last year's James Beard Foundation rising star competition. Background: Born in Ivrea, Italy; attended the Italian Culinary Institute; cooked in two of only three Italian restaurants awarded Michelin's three stars. First job in foodservice: Age 14, vegetable peeler in a hotel restaurant, northern Italy. Mentor: Pierangelo Cornaro, the owner of a restaurant in Bergamo, Italy, "who taught me everything I know." Cooking style: "I try to be creative and inventive, while respecting the traditions of Italy, though I do try to improve upon the presentation." Signature dish: Branzino (striped bass), stuffed with crab and served with fig, star anise, and red wine. What the critics say: "Piero Selvaggio and Enrico Glaudo have won my heart—my Italian heart—and next time I won't even open the menu; I will ask the chef to make whatever he wants," writes L.A. Times restaurant critic S. Irene Virbila.