Book review: 'Today's Special: 20 Leading Chefs Choose 100 Emerging Chefs'

01 April 2021 by
Book review: 'Today's Special: 20 Leading Chefs Choose 100 Emerging Chefs'

What's next for hospitality? It's a question nobody can answer in these uncertain times. But thanks to Today's Special, we do have an idea of what the future might be – or at least who might be the future – in the world of leading chefs.

Phaidon has asked 20 of the world's best chefs – 10 women and 10 men – who they believe are chefs of the future, with menu examples and recipes from the resulting 100 chefs. As a result, Today's Special contains a diverse range of chefs, both in terms of geography and cooking styles.

The majority of the chefs making their choices are from the US, including Daniel Boulud, Dominique Crenn and Marcus Samuelsson, with three representatives from the UK – Skye Gyngell, Margot Henderson and Yotam Ottolenghi.

These three produce-driven chefs unsurprisingly pick out some with styles similar to their own: Henderson plumps for Menu of the Year 2020 Catey winner Neil Borthwick from London's the French House; Gyngell advocates Merlin Labron-Johnson for being "committed to the bigger picture – sustainability, food security and food waste issues"; while Ottolenghi promotes protégé Ramael Scully.

They also take some less typical turns. Henderson highlights Mia Christensen, with her "modern take on classic Nordic food", including sourdough pancakes with mussels, elderflower and caviar; while Ottolenghi reports being "breathlessly impressed" by Australian Dave Verheul, who shares frozen ricotta, rhubarb, rose geranium and fermented blood plum.

Perhaps most exciting for a UK audience are the chefs that are lesser known on these shores but certain to be future leading lights. One such is UK chef Daniel Calvert, who is to open Sézanne, at the Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Marunouchi this June – suggested by Canadian chef May Chow, who also picks out Rosetta Lin from Shenzhen, China, for her "creativity and forwardness". In fact, that description could be credited to every chef in this book, whose inspirational dishes are accompanied by equally colourful and inventive photography.

Today's Special: 20 Leading Chefs Choose 100 Emerging Chefs (Phaidon, £39.95)

Continue reading

You need to create an account to read this article. It's free and only requires a few basic details.

Already subscribed?

The Caterer Breakfast Briefing Email

Start the working day with The Caterer’s free breakfast briefing email

Sign Up and manage your preferences below

Check mark icon
Thank you

You have successfully signed up for the Caterer Breakfast Briefing Email and will hear from us soon!

Jacobs Media Group is honoured to be the recipient of the 2020 Queen's Award for Enterprise.

The highest official awards for UK businesses since being established by royal warrant in 1965. Read more.


Ad Blocker detected

We have noticed you are using an adblocker and – although we support freedom of choice – we would like to ask you to enable ads on our site. They are an important revenue source which supports free access of our website's content, especially during the COVID-19 crisis.

trade tracker pixel tracking