Zagat released its list of “30 Under 30,” chefs and others in the food industry that the restaurant guides have selected as young talent in Boston. In the group are the Baldwin Bar beverage director Ran Duan, 29; owners of Lilac Hedge Farm Ryan MacKay, 25, and Tom Corbett, (Both 25); and Justin Shoults, 29 Executive Chef, Oak + Rowan.
Ryan MacKay, 25, and Tom Corbett, Both 25
Owners, Lilac Hedge Farm
They’re poster boys for the young farmer movement, launching their responsibly raised meats farm while still in college. Now Lilac operates on multiple properties, mainly a just-acquired 350-acre historic Holden farm, has a dozen people on payroll and is one of Massachusetts’s largest livestock producers, retailing through wholesale accounts, CSAs and farmer’s markets — including the new Boston Public Market, America’s first year-round, entirely local-foods market. They also advocate for farming’s future: both sit on the Massachusetts Farm Bureau’s Young Farmers and Ranchers Committee, and MacKay is on the Livestock Committee and the Farm Bureau Federation’s board of directors, working toward legislative policy changes like the legalization of raw milk.
Ran Duan, 29
Beverage Director, The Baldwin Bar
What a year. First “GQ” dubbed Duan “America’s Best Bartender” and featured him on its “Men of the Year” issue cover. Then his email exchange with a pretentious Harvard professor who threatened legal action over a $4 overcharge from Woburn’s Sichuan Garden II, Duan’s family restaurant, went viral. (It’s a master class in maintaining composure with even the worst customers.) Yet the media exposure never eclipsed the A-plus mixology plied at Baldwin, a suburban secret-no-longer that just unrolled a space-doubling upstairs expansion. Duan’s next big idea: to introduce a distinct rum bar at Sichuan’s sibling in Brookline.
Justin Shoults, 29
Executive Chef, Oak + Rowan
It’s ironic that an Ohioan would wind up a master of seafood, but so it is with Shoults. The CIA grad’s early work at Nantucket’s Oran Mor Bistro set him on a culinary course that truly flourished at Newburyport siblings Ceia Kitchen + Bar and BRINE. As opening chef of the latter, his sophisticated plates (and stellar caviar program) wowed diners. Now he’s set to open that restaurant group’s first Boston venture, Oak + Rowan, in Fort Point next summer. Expect composed seasonal surf ‘n’ turf and a replication of BRINE’s international caviar program, with a little extra city sheen.
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