In this, our third Cooks & Chefs issue, we tackle the question, condition, and future of “fine dining”—a term and a type of restaurant that is always in flux.
There’s an illustrated timeline of fine dining history and a visual dictionary of thirty essential dishes that any aspiring cook (or gastronome) should be able to identify in a line-up. Speaking of a line-up: we interviewed more than twenty of the world’s best chefs—Grant Achatz, Anita Lo, David Kinch, Rene Redzepi—and asked them about fine dining’s past, present, and future, about how they got into it, and what it means to them.
Will Guidara, the maître d’ and owner of the celebrated restaurant Eleven Madison Park, extols and explains why the elevated and orchestrated service of the finest restaurants is for some—including him—a calling. Iliana Regan, the chef of the Michelin-starred restaurant Elizabeth in Chicago, answers editor Peter Meehan’s questions about why she pursues the path of the fine-dining chef in the era of fastcasual brand extensions.
Meanwhile, Wes Avila of Guerrilla Tacos (Los Angeles) and Brooks Headley of Superiority Burger (New York) talk about why they left fine dining behind. There are recipes and cocktails and a look inside Corey Lee’s amazing new project at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and, if all that isn’t enough for you, Anthony Bourdain pens a visceral introduction to an excerpt of George Orwell’s classic tale of kitchen work, Down and Out in Paris and London.