David Middleton (and Daniel Boulud, too, of course) for meeting and exceeding any and all expectations for Boulud’s return to Las Vegas with DB Brasserie at Venetian.
Mike Minor, of his very own Truck U Barbeque, for creating what is hands-down the best pulled pork sandwich humanity has ever encountered.
Whoever is cooking anything at Chada Thai & Wine, particularly the person behind the pla nua tod (crispy beef with spicy tamarind sauce).
Akira Back, for not only holding it down at Yellowtail and Kumi, and not just for expanding the Yellowtail brand to LA, but also for opening his own eponymous restaurants in New Delhi and Jakarta. Vegas chef, world domination.
José Andrés, for double-doubling down in Vegas, first with Cosmo’s Jaleo and China Poblano, and now with SLS’ Bazaar Meat and Ku Noodle.
Whoever’s on the fryer at Brooklyn Bowl.
Michael LaPlaca, for turning Onda, Mirage’s Italian restaurant, into Portofino, Michael LaPlaca’s Italian restaurant, also one of the best Italian restaurants in the city.
Matt Andrews, for executing the killer menu at Carson Kitchen and repping Kerry Simon to the fullest.
Whoever’s on the grill at Bobby’s Burger Palace.