Bruce Palling’s Top 10 Young Chefs in Europe


This 28-year-old Sicilian-born chef opened his first restaurant, Relæ, in August after working at El Bulli for the 2006 season and then as sous-chef at Copenhagen’s Noma. Although some of his creations are hit or miss, there is a raw talent here that can only improve; one of his signature dishes (and my favorite) is brined and pickled mackerel, with cauliflower on a lemon-peel puree.


ALEXANDRE GAUTHIER, La Grenouillère, Montreuil Pas-de-Calais

Two years ago, when still in his late 20s, Alexandre Gauthier restored the Michelin star to his family’s restaurant in northern France and has gone on to considerable acclaim. Trained locally and then at Alain Ducasse at Plaza Athénée in Paris and at La Pinède in Saint Tropez, Mr. Gauthier loves to bemuse diners with his ingredient combinations, such as quail eggs on crushed Brussels sprouts, with grated garlic and diced grapes.


This could lay claim to being the most exciting restaurant in Lyon right now—and it is run (with a staff of two) by a 27-year-old chef who formerly worked with Nicolas le Bec and Pierre Gagnaire. A blackboard announces four dishes for €35 ($49), including such creations as gnocchi with herbs, garlic and cèpes, or an amazing tête de veau with celery puree.

  • Tel: +33 (0)

GREG MARCHAND, Frenchie, Paris

It takes at least two months to score a reservation in this cubbyhole of a place in Paris’s second arrondissement. Greg Marchand has worked in Britain and New York, and is the personification of a néo-bistrot chef, creating innovative dishes in a kitchen the size of an airing cupboard.

  • Tel: +33 (0) 1 40 39 96 19



PIER GIORGIO PARINI, Povero Diavolo, near Rimini

Pier Giorgio Parini formerly worked at Italy’s three-star Michelin Le Calandre and is famous for his daily changing menus. He is known as the “king of herbs” for his inventive use of them; his most famous menu is called “typical earth” and comprises 10 dishes of local produce.


IÑIGO PENA, Narru, San Sebastián

Twenty-eight-year-old Iñigo Pena is the most interesting young chef in what is probably (per capita) the largest concentration of innovative chefs on the globe. His cuisine is product-based and is especially accomplished with rice and fish dishes. Another dish that has won him acclaim involves deboned Luma Gorri chicken wings in a lightly cooked egg yolk and potato.


Is this the most extraordinary restaurant in Europe? Located in the middle of an 8,500-hectare estate in northern Sweden, 27-year-old Magnus Nilsson has the liberty to rely almost totally on local produce. Trained at two three-star Michelin restaurants in Paris (L’Astrance and L’Arpège), his dishes include lightly salted trout roe in a warm crust of dried pig’s blood and black grouse cooked in wild herbs.


BRETT GRAHAM, The Ledbury, London

Having just been awarded his second Michelin star and the top U.K. award from Zagat and the National Restaurant Awards, this young Australian is on a roll. Many of the leading chefs of the world, such as René Redzepi, Ferran Adrià and Alain Ducasse, have been to the Ledbury to experience signature dishes like flame-grilled mackerel, with smoked eel, Celtic mustard and shiso, or Yorkshire grouse with prunes cooked inlapsang souchong tea, walnut milk and cèpes.

STEVIE PARLE, The Dock Kitchen, London

Twenty-five year-old Stevie Parle opened his supper club cum restaurant at the end of 2009 after several years working abroad and at the River Café in London. Located in a warehouse next to the Grand Union Canal in West London, he has already won a young chef of the year award for his simple yet sophisticated cuisine.


TIM SIADATAN, Trullo, London

This has to be the best value Italian cuisine in London. The 28 year-old chef got his break as an unemployed teenager, training under TV chef Jamie Oliver and then working at the fashionable Moro restaurant. His bold dishes include chargrilled whole mackerel and quail, grilled ox heart with peppers and chorizo, and a veal chop with dandelion capers.


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