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Jul 21, 2009 02:27 PM

3 favorite S.D. chefs

Let me get the disclaimers out of the way first.

These are "favorite" chefs, not "best" chefs. Favorite is 100% subjective; best somewhat less so. So the usual dissection, criticism, rebuttal, and surrebuttal that would ensue from a listing of "best" chefs...well, I'm hoping there'll be no compulsion for that here.

Just a fun list for those who may wish to participate. I look forward to seeing which names pop up most often.

If you're a sushi aficionado, a vegan, think Mexican cuisine is tops, or Italian, or Chinese, then your trio will no doubt include chefs from those areas.

I've thought a lot about this and with my three it's all about taste, creativity and consistency, in that order:


PAUL MC CABE (Kitchen 1540)


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  1. Carl Schroeder (Market)
    Jeff Jackson (AR Valentien)
    Olivier Bioteau (Farmhouse Cafe)

    And special mention to Bobby Mates (Wine Vault and Bistro) for putting forth a Supermanesque feat in his 5-course/$30 tasting menu.

    1. In honor of stevewag23, I'd like to nominate Deborah Scott for all three slots.

      7 Replies
      1. re: Josh

        I agree. No further discussion necessary

        1. re: Josh

          Funny, I had the exact same thought but decided to edit myself.

          1. re: foodiechick

            I'd like to play, but I don't know the chefs by their names, only their restaurants:
            Yu Me Ya

            1. re: SDgirl

              Jason Knibb

              Philippe Verpiand and

              YU got ME, YA you do

              1. re: mcgrath

                That's hysterical! Thanks for making me laugh out loud and thanks for the names.

                1. re: mcgrath

                  Yumeya is run by the Nakai family, with the father and mother doing most of the cooking and their daughter Fumika occasionally improvising a dessert, so for now let's just leave it as Yumeya...

            2. re: Josh


              She won't be SD's best chef.

              She would be best chef ever.

              Since food was invented.

            3. Jeff Jackson (ARV)
              Trey Foshee (George's)
              Aaron La Monica (Blind Lady Ale House, formerly of Delirio's)
              Andrew Spurgeon (Waters)

              I had to choose four. I based it on food, personality, and philosophy, and in some cases, playfulness.

              1. Jean-Michel Diot
                Philippe Veripand
                I'm gonna have to think about a third one a bit. First two are no brainers for me.

                1. Carl Schroeder (Market)
                  Morita-san (Kaito)
                  The whole staff at Okan