Food & Wine magazine unveiled its list of America’s top 10 Best New Chefs, and making it in 2017 is Portland’s Peter Cho. Cho is the chef behind the new Korean restaurant Han Oak, Eater Portland’s 2016 Restaurant of the Year, who brings experience cooking alongside international culinary heavy-weight April Bloomfield.
Editor Jordana Rothman and her team seemingly didn’t hold back a single signifier: Cho’s Korean cooking is "smart and technical," "rooted in culinary tradition," and "totally fresh, exciting, and personal." Plus, he picks up where "the Beastie Boys" left off in the fight for "the right to party."
It’s cool the publication focused on Han Oak’s festive, familial atmosphere because it starts in the kitchen: The chef party, and the collaboration therein, lies at the center of its dishes (perfecting the art of snapping open a can of beer with a towel also fits in there somewhere). It was also a smooth move to welcome Han Oak—a place that serves prix fixe Korean barbecue dinners with a $35 price tag, not to mention those well-priced noodle and dumpling nights—to the national stage, proving once again it doesn't have to be fine dining to be fine food.