Cara Stadler, the chef/owner of Tao Yuan in Brunswick, was named by Food & Wine magazine Tuesday as one of the 10 best new chefs in the country.

The announcement was made on social media with a “selfie” of the chef posing with Dana Cowin, editor of Food & Wine.

This is the first time that a Maine chef has been named a Best New Chef since Steve Corry of Five Fifty-Five in Portland won the honor in 2007. Stadler and the nine other chefs will be featured in the July issue of Food & Wine and will appear at the 32nd annual Food & Wine Classic in Aspen, Colo.

Stadler, who was in New York to celebrate at a Food & Wine party Tuesday night, said she was “super excited – and shocked” to hear that she had been awarded the honor. She said she found a few weeks ago, when Cowin broke the news by phone.

Earlier this year, Stadler was named a semifinalist for a James Beard Award in the Rising Star Chef category but did not make the cut to become a finalist.

“I thought, when I started cooking, in my dream world it would be this and a James Beard Award,” Stadler said. “We’ve had an amazing year.”


Cowin noted in making the announcement that the 10 Best New Chefs “set the trends for restaurants across the country.”

The editors of Food & Wine survey food critics, food writers and other experts across the country for nominations, searching for talented, up-and-coming chefs who have been in their restaurants for no more than five years. The editors then travel incognito to taste the chefs’ food.

In the magazine’s short profile of Stadler, the editors wrote about “Why She’s Amazing,” saying:

“Although Stadler is only 26, she’s already cooked in top French kitchens and launched a buzzed-about supper club in China. Now she masterminds an outstanding, Asian-inspired small-plates restaurant in Brunswick, ME.”

Stadler is also nominated for Peoples’ Choice Best New Chef in the New England category, along with Andrew Taylor and Mike Wiley of Hugo’s and Eventide Oyster Co. in Portland. Voting has closed, and those results will be announced Wednesday.

The other nine Best New Chefs are Matthew Accarrino of SPQR in San Francisco; Dave Beran of Next in Chicago; Greg Denton and Gabrielle Quiñónez Denton of Ox in Portland, Ore.; Eli Kulp of Fork in Philadelphia; Matt McCallister of FT33 in Dallas; Joe Ogrodnek and Walker Stern of Dover in Brooklyn, N.Y.; Paul Qui of Qui in Austin; Ari Taymor of Alma in Los Angeles; and Justin Yu of Oxheart in Houston.

Staff Writer Susan Axelrod contributed to this report.

Meredith Goad can be contacted at 791-6332 or at:

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