Food & Wine Magazine just put out its Best New Chefs of 2016 list, with one familiar face ...
Kevin Fink began his restaurant career in Tucson and was the head chef at the Italian restaurant Zona 78, 7301 E. Tanque Verde Road. The son of Zona's co-owner Rick Fink, Kevin got his start as a dishwasher at The Grill at Hacienda del Sol and went on to apprentice at the famous Danish restaurant Noma, which has been named the best restaurant in the world.
Fink left Tucson last year to open his own restaurant in Austin called Emmer & Rye, which serves gourmet small plates out of carts a'la Chinese dim sum. Emmer and Rye uses Arizona heritage grains like the White Sonora Wheat, but also boasts its own fermentation and whole animal butchery programs.
Food & Wine picked Fink along with 10 other chefs from San Francisco, Seattle and more. Here are some highlights from the interview.
"Why Fink is amazing: He’s wildly passionate about grains, milling up to 15 kinds in his Austin kitchen. He uses them to make everything from the White Sonoran Bialys he often serves at brunch to Red Fife tagliatelle with merguez, tomato and fennel."
"Quintessential dish: White Sonoran pappardelle with pork ragout and basil."
"Why some of his produce isn't local: [Fink's words]: 'There are not a lot of places here in Texas that grow non-GMO grains, so we source those items from Arizona, where I grew up, or areas in the South. It’s a good example of where a restaurant like ours can be influential in our community.'"