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4. There Is a Restaurant Mafia

These 11 chefs represent what food in New York is becoming: funkier, fresher, brasher, spicier, more personal. They all have things to say and ventures to open—sometimes at a dizzying clip. None are capable of making food you wouldn’t instantly recognize as their own.

1. Brooks Headley
Punk-rock drummer and Del Posto pastry chef who champions vegetables in his sideline veggie-burger project and in dessert.

2. Ignacio Mattos
Estela’s small-plates modernist runs only one kitchen, but that’s enough to earn him a cult following and a recent visit from the leader of the Free World.

3. Alex Raij
Spanish cuisine’s foremost scholar-interpreter, who cooks through the prism of her Argentine Jewish roots at La Vara and her two other restaurants.

4. Rich Torrisi
What gets slightly lost among the retro nostalgia of Torrisi & Carbone Inc. is that Rich Torrisi is one of the most technically proficient chefs in the country.

5. Danny Bowien
The Korean-American cook’s Sichuan-inspired lark has blossomed into a constantly morphing, endlessly intriguing Mission empire.

6. Alex Stupak
Pastry prodigy turned Mexican chef-restaurateur and Empellón co-owner, with an outsider’s inclination to reimagine the cuisine.

7. Wylie Dufresne
Egg maven, mayonnaise fryer, food futurist. New York’s most respected chef—and, if you ask David Chang, possibly its best.

8. April Bloomfield
Since the opening of the Spotted Pig in 2004, this quiet chef from Birmingham has become a gastropub OG, burger tycoon, and unlikely bicoastal entrepreneur.

9. David Chang
Impassioned fermenter, MSG apologist, self-publisher, HBO actor, and—oh, yeah—founder of Momofuku worldwide enterprises.

10. Mario Carbone
Veteran of Mario Batali’s kitchens, torch-carrier for the red-sauce traditions of his Queens youth, co-founder of Parm and Carbone (for starters).

11. Daniel Humm
The Swiss perfectionist has three Michelin stars at Eleven Madison Park and plans for a NoMad empire.