When we sat down and thought about this, so many names popped into mind that if they were diseases, we'd be riddled. There was a time when few people mentioned Joel Harloff (Dali Wine Bar) or Brian Luscher (The Grape), but those days are fading. Michael Zeve of Sevy's or Jeffery Hobbs at Suze are both highly accomplished second fiddles, so to speak. When's the last time you saw Randy Morgan of Dallas Fish Market mentioned anywhere. And who, for that matter, runs the kitchen at La Palapa Veracruza? We could bring up staff at Mia's, Mai's or...well, you see what we're dealing with. So we settled on chefs in the mid- to upscale market working in stand alone restaurants...with one exception we just couldn't resist.
10. Mansour Gorji, Canary Café
OK, so he promotes himself shamelessly--his name still rarely comes up in conversation, and he's doing all that marketing without professional assistance (at least that we know about). Gorji specializes in Mediterranean cuisine, but won the Texas Steak Cookoff in Hico on two occasions. And he has been known to offer "world tour" dinners, allowing the Addison chef to show even greater range.