Five Chefs Under the Influence

U.S. restaurants at the crest of the Spanish new wave
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Minibar, 405 8th Street NW, Washington, D.C., www.cafeatlantico.com. Four chefs, six stools, two seatings for course tastings devised by José Andrés, who began working for Ferrán Adrià at sixteen.

Ureña, 37 East 28th Street, New York City, 212-213-2328. Alex Ureña, a native of the Dominican Republic who worked in numerous high-profile kitchens in New York and Spain, has just opened his tribute to the new Spanish revolution, with a kitchen stocked with the requisite gadgets.

wd~50, 50 Clinton Street, New York City, 212-477-2900. Providence native Wylie Dufresne calls his food “New American,” but Spain is a clear influence on his provocative menu.

Alinea, 1723 North Halsted Street, Chicago, 312-867-0110. Deliberately disorienting food from Grant Achatz, one of the wildest and most acclaimed of the country’s experimental chefs.

Bastide, 8475 Melrose Place, Los Angeles, 323-651-5950. Chef Ludovic Levebre trained in his native France with post–nouvelle cuisine chefs; the owners of the popular restaurant in Los Angeles, where he made his mark, will soon reopen it under a new name as a showcase for his novelties.

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Corby Kummer's work in The Atlantic has established him as one of the most widely read, authoritative, and creative food writers in the United States. The San Francisco Examiner pronounced him "a dean among food writers in America." More

Corby Kummer's work in The Atlantic has established him as one of the most widely read, authoritative, and creative food writers in the United States. The San Francisco Examiner pronounced him "a dean among food writers in America." Julia Child once said, "I think he's a very good food writer. He really does his homework. As a reporter and a writer he takes his work very seriously." Kummer's 1990 Atlantic series about coffee was heralded by foodies and the general public alike. The response to his recommendations about coffees and coffee-makers was typical--suppliers scrambled to meet the demand. As Giorgio Deluca, co-founder of New York's epicurean grocery Dean & Deluca, says: "I can tell when Corby's pieces hit; the phone doesn't stop ringing." His book, The Joy of Coffee, based on his Atlantic series, was heralded by The New York Times as "the most definitive and engagingly written book on the subject to date." In nominating his work for a National Magazine Award (for which he became a finalist), the editors wrote: "Kummer treats food as if its preparation were something of a life sport: an activity to be pursued regularly and healthfully by knowledgeable people who demand quality." Kummer's book The Pleasures of Slow Food celebrates local artisans who raise and prepare the foods of their regions with the love and expertise that come only with generations of practice. Kummer was restaurant critic of New York Magazine in 1995 and 1996 and since 1997 has served as restaurant critic for Boston Magazine. He is also a frequent food commentator on television and radio. He was educated at Yale, and came to The Atlantic Monthly in 1981. He is the recipient of five James Beard Journalism Awards, including the MFK Fisher Distinguished Writing Award.
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