A new crop of hungry chefs lights up Boston’s kitchens.
More than a few celebrity chefs in this town have climbed to the top of the culinary ladder—people we need mention only by first name, like Barbara, Ken, and Ming. But who are the next hot young turks simmering away in the city, waiting to come to a full rolling boil? Here are their names, where you can find them, and what separates them from the pack.
Francisco Millan’s whole roasted trout with broccoli rabe and corn salsa at Row 34.
Francisco Millan is making waves as chef de cuisine at the oceancentric hot spot Row 34, part of chef-owner Jeremy Sewall’s culinary dynasty. Millan’s résumé includes time in the kitchens of Jamie Bissonette at Toro and Gabriel Frasca at Straight Wharf. At Row 34, his specialties are the delicate arts of smoking and curing seafood, such as f luke crudo. “I am very much about letting the ingredients speak for themselves,” Millan says. This means thinly sliced fish with a light wash of acidity, pickled peppers, a delicate pinch of dried Aleppo pepper—and not a hint of a chef ’s ego. “Fran definitely has all the tools to be a big deal,” Sewall attests. “He has a great palate, and his cooking sensibilities are rooted in excellent technique.” 383 Congress St., 617-553-5900
Stephanie Cmar’s Stacked Donuts.
Stacy Cogswell of The Regal Beagle in Brookline was the only hometown toque chosen for the Boston filming of Bravo’s Top Chef, airing October 15. While that alone won’t make her a star, there’s plenty of proof to be found. She trained at Johnson & Wales and worked in the kitchen of Jean-Georges Vongerichten at Market in Mexico, before coming to Boston and joining chef Susan Regis at the local favorite UpStairs on the Square, where, Cogswell says, “I learned a different perspective on how to love and respect food.” The Regal Beagle is known for comfort food, but Cogswell puts a thoughtful chef’s mark on mac and cheese via braised short ribs. Look for pumpkin and bacon bisque and spicy pepitas on her fall menu. 308 Harvard St., Brookline, 617-739-5151
Stacy Cogswell of The Regal Beagle.
We have our eye on chef Stephanie Cmar and her pop-up sensation Stacked Donuts. Although she has proven herself as a chef at Stir and No. 9 Park, Cmar also distinguished herself by keeping her cool during a tough gig on Top Chef. She has shown that innovative cooking doesn’t have to be a fancypants nine-course tasting menu; sometimes it’s fried dough, albeit in completely unexpected iterations like Thai basil and lemonade. While a permanent restaurant is in the works, she uses social media to keep her many fans abreast of where and when she’ll turn up next. “We’re blessed,” she says. “For now, friends are extending their kitchen space.” Follow Cmar on Twitter at @stephaniecmar