Best of Philly

Best Chef

2017 BEST Chef

Cristina Martinez at El Compadre

Her claim to fame may be simple lamb tacos, but Martinez (of South Philly Barbacoa fame) is a master of her craft. Her use of quality ingredients and dedication to making everything—from heirloom corn tortillas to soulful stews—by hand, are why Philly’s top toques bow down to her prowess.

1149 South 9th Street, Philadelphia, PA | 267-746-7658 | Website

2017 BEST Up-and-Coming Chef

Michael Vincent Ferreri at Res Ipsa

2218 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA

He comes from good roots, having cut his teeth at Zeppoli, Aldine and Zahav. He’s smart enough to understand modern tricks and techniques without letting them cloud his vision of what people actually want to eat. And at Res Ipsa, he’s done what seems almost impossible: created menus that work for quick-serve breakfasts, low-key lunches… Read more »

2017 BEST New Celeb Chef

Joe Beddia at Pizzeria Beddia

115 East Girard Avenue, Philadelphia, PA

We were lining up in Fishtown for his pies way before Bon Appétit named his pizza the best in America. But now the world knows, and with his new smash-hit cookbook, he’s been showing the rest of the country that guys from New York aren’t the only ones who know dough. Read more »

2016 BEST Chef

Townsend Wentz

Wentz seamlessly bops back and forth between French (at Townsend) and Italian (at A Mano), formal and rustic, and traditional and modern — sometimes within the confines of a single plate. He’s currently in command of two of the best restaurants in the city, each of which elevates its particular cuisine to a level rarely… Read more »

2015 BEST Chef

Rich Landau

Because he’s always here — either walking the floor at Vedge or tinkering in the kitchen at V Street — we tend to forget just how important Landau is in this very vegetarian moment we’re living through. In the national conversation, Landau’s Vedge has already redefined the way that a lot of young chefs look… Read more »

2014 BEST Chef

Chris Painter, Il Pittore

2025 Sansom Street, Philadelphia, PA

Quietly, without much fanfare, Chris Painter, who spent years as culinary director for Starr Restaurants before opening Il Pittore, has been stuffing, rolling and saucing thoughtful pasta dishes, garden-fresh apps and big-flavor entrees. Read more »

2013 BEST Chef

Richard Landau, Vedge

1221 Locust Street, Philadelphia, PA

Almost everyone says the same thing after a first meal here: That was vegan food? Yes, it is- just not the sort that scares you away from Sunday-night potlucks in West Philly. Whether it’s the fresh treasures from Landau’s Dirt List or his knack for deploying tofu skin like pork cracklin’s and actually pulling it… Read more »

2013 BEST New Chef

Chris Kearse, Will

1911 East Passyunk Avenue, Philadelphia, PA

In this era of charcuterie, rusticity and guilty-pleasure food thrills, it takes a lot for a chef to make a name for himself for playing with tweezers rather than a cleaver. But Kearse, with his immaculately composed plates, understanding of how to balance art, modernity and flavor, and bone-deep knowledge of the classic French canon,… Read more »

2012 BEST Chef

George Sabatino, Stateside

1536 East Passyunk Avenue, Philadelphia, PA

Follow the Stateside maestro’s Instagram feed and you’ll see a creative chef at play. Eat his food and you’ll know how he’s made Stateside one of the most enjoyable dining destinations in the entire city. Read more »

2011 BEST Chef

Jeff Michaud, Osteria

640 North Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA

Why? Because he started cooking at 13. Because he did time in Aspen before coming to work for Marc Vetri at his eponymous Philly restaurant and then, when Michaud decided that he needed to learn more about Italian cooking, just up and moved to Lombardy, where he spent three years walking the earth like Kwai… Read more »

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