Phillip Frankland Lee is one of America’s Best Young Chefs. So says San Pellegrino, the prestigious water company known for helping rich people decide where to eat. Their annual list of the world’s 50 Best Restaurants (that’s the one where Copenhagen’s Noma is almost always at the top) reads like a who’s who of high-end, inventive eateries, but it’s the smaller competitions like Best Young Chef that can really provide a baseline for the future of luxury cuisine around the world.
Lee, of Scratch Bar and more recently Studio City’s near-vegan restaurant The Gadarene Swine, is a bit of a 27 year old wunderkind. He’s already made Zagat’s 30-under-30 list and is well on his way to becoming one of the city’s more innovative chefs. Apparently the San Pellegrino team agreed, working with Italy’s ALMA school of cooking to determine the top ten finalists in the country for the award.
Lee is in good company, rubbing elbows with Daniel Beal, the sous from S.F.’s Atelier Crenn; Dan Shu, the chef de partie at Daniel in New York; and Pasadena’s own Eric Rowse, the chef behind The Eatery.
In February, Lee and the other finalists will head to New York to compete against one another for the right to represent the U.S. at the Expo Milano 2015. The U.S. winner will then go on to international competition in June in Milan. Congrats, Chef.