Since 1979, Zagat has been on the forefront of identifying top restaurants and chefs in the United States. This year, the dining guide is changing course and launching a national list of 30 Under 30 hospitality professionals, a roundup of which has been focused only on select regions since its inception six years ago.
While San Diego has never had its own regional 30 Under 30, in the new format, two chefs from the area are among the top 45 nominees, which was recently narrowed down from an original 60 chefs.
Names were gathered in an open call in January from readers, local editors, previous honorees and industry insiders. That list was then vetted by a panel of Zagat editorial experts who narrowed down the initial group to 60 semifinalists. The final 30 Under 30 list will be revealed in September.
According to the Zagat website, "Qualifications for this year's 30 Under 30 list include being under the age of 30 (duh), currently working at a restaurant/cafe/bar/brewery/distillery/farm/bakery, etc. and, finally, undeniable awesomeness."
Carlos Anthony, 28, lead line chef at Herb & Wood also made the initial cut of 60 semifinalists, which was announced back in April. San Diego was one of the leaders in nominations among other big foodie cities such as New York, Austin and Washington D.C., which each had three nominees as well.