San Francisco, Oakland chefs honored in Food & Wine’s Best New Chefs list

Two Bay Area chefs have landed on Food & Wine’s Best New Chefs list for 2021, which focused on strong leadership within the restaurant industry in the U.S.

Matt Horn, owner and pitmaster of Horn Barbecue in Oakland, and Gaby Maeda, chef de cuisine at State Bird Provisions in San Francisco, were honored in the magazine’s 33rd annual list, which highlighted chefs from 10 different restaurants around the country.  

Each honoree was selected in part for delivering noteworthy dishes but also for taking a stance on large issues — such as mental health and racism, among others — and implementing a positive change or working toward a solution. Horn’s dedication to cultivating the rich flavors of Texas barbecue on his own was an important highlight in his nomination, though he also had a hand in giving back to his community amid the ongoing pandemic.  

Gaby Maeda, chef de cuisine at State Bird Provisions, was honored on Food & Wine Magazine's Best New Chefs 2021 list.  

Gaby Maeda, chef de cuisine at State Bird Provisions, was honored on Food & Wine Magazine’s Best New Chefs 2021 list.  

Jen Lo / Special to SFGATE

Last year, Horn and David Kim, Horn’s business partner and president of Horn Hospitality Group, launched the nonprofit Horn Initiative, which helped raise about $20,000 within two months to fix 4,000 meals for families, frontline workers and essential workers. “I just want to just feed people, reach out and touch the community,” Horn told SFGATE in 2020 about the Horn Initiative.

On Instagram, Horn thanked the publication and said, “It is an honor, but also a position that will not be abused or taken for granted.”

Similarly, State Bird Provisions shared its own Instagram post to celebrate chef Maeda on her nomination.

Maeda was rapidly promoted to chef de cuisine at State Bird Provisions after her hiring, Food & Wine wrote. She told the publication that upon taking the promotion, it was pivotal for her to learn to become a manager that didn’t resort to toxic behavior often seen within restaurant kitchens.

“I wanted to make sure I knew how to talk to staff, how to schedule, and how to deal with the stresses of everything,” she told Food & Wine. “I learned how to properly give constructive criticism and positive reinforcement at the same time.”

Horn Barbecue and State Bird Provisions are among some of the Bay Area’s best restaurants to be recognized in prominent food awards and mentions. Last month, Horn Barbecue was listed in the Michelin Guide, while State Bird Provisions made 50 Best Discovery’s annual list as a top restaurant in the world.  



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