Ladies and gentleman, it is time. We are pleased to announce the Eater Young Guns Class of 2013, a group of 15 of the most distinguished young chefs, restaurateurs, sommeliers, and hospitality industry professionals in the country. These are the junior statesmen of the culinary world who have most distinguished themselves this year, and who are its next stars. Over the past two months, you've met many of them, and you'll meet the rest this week.
The class of 15 is comprised of four women and 11 men; seven chefs, three beverage pros, two pastry chefs, and three front-of-house leaders. The youngest on the list just turned 25 (Jayce McConnell). The oldest, with just four years in the business, is 38 (Ryan Lachaine). They represent myriad styles and 15 cities: Austin, Boston, Alexandria, Houston, Nashville, Chicago, Charleston, Oxford, Madison, Seattle, New York, Houston, Los Angeles, and the areas outside San Francisco and Minneapolis.
Representing New York City is Jason Wang (25), the president of Xi'an Famous Foods. Over the last four years, Wang has grown his father's Flushing food stall into a small chain of excellent, totally affordable fast-casual restaurants. Last year, Jason also opened Biang!, a critically acclaimed sit-down restaurant in Flushing.
Here's Andrew Zimmern on Jason: "This is a phenomenal young man, and it's the ultimate immigrant story. His dad is an incredible chef from China, David Shi. He opened what is the first Xi'an Famous in the Flushing mall and now they have, what, three or four Xi'an Famous and they have the fancier sit down place Biang! And they just opened a commissary in Brooklyn. It's an amazing combination between old world—David the father—versus new world, which is Jason the son, who went to school, graduated, took over the family business and has recreated the company. The food they make is fantastic, the growth of the business is unbelievable, and Jason is just so, so obsessed with entrepreneurship, it's a cool thing to see." Congratulations to Jason and all the other Young Guns.