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Eater Young Guns 2016: Meet the Semifinalists from Boston

A solid crop of Boston talent made the semifinalist list

Each year, Eater goes on a hunt for who are up-and-coming standouts in the industry, taking on new challenges in their roles as bartenders, general managers, chefs and pastry chefs, and beyond.

Nominations for the 2016 class of Young Guns were open to the public, and many of the people selected as semifinalists were nominated multiple times, identified as dedicated individuals working to push boundaries of their professions. This year's semifinalists are all either under 30 years of age or have fewer than five years experience in the industry.

Full details on all the 2016 Eater Young Guns semifinalists are available on, but here's a look at some familiar faces from the Boston area:

— Irene Li of Mei Mei: Li is the youngest of the three siblings behind Mei Mei and was called a "food ethics crusader" in her nomination.

— Katrina Juliet Jazayeri of Juliet: Jazayeri recently opened Juliet in Union Square, where she instituted a service-included payment model and an employee profit-sharing plan.

— Retno Pratiwi of Kaki Lima: This flavor-driven chef ""cooks the amazing and complex food of Indonesia to her own extremely high standards," per her nomination.

— Robert Daniel Gonzalez of Bistro du Midi: Gonzalez crafts decadent desserts "that are as unique and visually stunning as they are delicious," according to his nomination.

— Laura Higgins-Baltzley of The 41-70: This Ribelle alum now works on the Cape, where "she's able to find balance between old ingredients and modern techniques in ways that are simply astonishing," her nomination reads.

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