Every year since 2012, Eater has honored a class of Young Guns, the most promising young (or new) talent in the restaurant industry across the country. These trailblazers — who are all either under 30 or have worked in their industry for under five years — can be found in all positions in hospitality, from sommelier to butcher to chef, and past honorees have gone on to open outstanding restaurants, rack up accolades, and make a difference in the dining world nationwide.
Earlier this year, Eater accepted public nominations for the class of 2018, receiving over 2,000 entries for over 600 nominees, and then a panel of esteemed restaurant and hospitality industry vets and Young Guns alumni (including Boston’s Irene Li) helped narrow the list down to a shorter list of 50 semifinalists (technically 53; there are three teams of two), announced today. Next month, the list of winners will be announced, but for today, let’s celebrate the talented semifinalists, including two locals:
Ellie Tiglao, 33, came to Boston as a neuroscientist but found herself operating her first restaurant pop-up in 2014. She’s a worker-owner with the Olio Culinary Collective, and this summer, she’ll be opening Tanám, a Filipino-American restaurant, at Somerville’s Bow Market, focusing on “narrative cuisine” that aims to tell political, cultural, and historical stories, often by collaborating with artists.
Judy Yao, 26, is a butcher’s apprentice at Savenor’s (and a Clover Food Lab alum). She moved to the United States from Taiwan at age 14 and uses food to connect to home — and to help customers find connections of their own as well.
Stay tuned for the announcement of the Eater Young Guns class of 2018 next month.