Since 2012, Eater Young Guns has singled out the rising stars of the culinary industry, celebrating (mostly) young people who were accomplished beyond their years and primed to become the next generation of hospitality leaders. Young Guns have built workplaces around community, centered queer Black and brown people, and prioritized sustainable sourcing. In 2021, Eater will continue to name the figures who represent the future of food, but as the restaurant industry faces a moment unlike anything that’s come before, this effort will also look different: This spring, Eater will name the first members of its New Guard.
Over the past 10 months, countless people — inside and outside of the restaurant industry — have taken up the vital work of feeding those around them, often under impossible and ever-shifting circumstances. The New Guard will encompass not only the most talented changemakers in restaurants, but also those using food to challenge conventions, remake old systems, and better their communities. Regardless of age or vocation, the New Guard will be composed of the undersung builders, doers, and activists who will effect positive change in food — and by extension, in the world — for years to come.
To be eligible to be a member of the inaugural Eater New Guard class, nominees must be based in the United States, and they must have less than five years’ experience in their fields or be under 30 years of age as of January 17, 2021. Talented chefs, bakers, sommeliers, and other hospitality professionals who excel at what they do are still welcome, but so are community organizers, people engaged in mutual aid, nonprofit workers, artists, provocateurs, farmers, and advocates for a more sustainable food supply and community health.
Now is the time to correct long-entrenched inequalities in the culinary world, and this recovery is bound to include exciting new projects from talented chefs whose names we don’t yet know. Through January 17 at 3 p.m. EST, use the nomination form to tell us who will be leading that charge.