Skip to Navigation Skip to Content

Hot 20: Chef and Cofounder of Mission Chinese Food, Danny Bowien

Photograph by Angela Hau. Burberry Prorsum suit ($1795 jacket, $895 pants) and shirt ($595), burberry.com

HOT. The word carries so many meanings: passionate, sizzling, trendy, intense, and yes, sexy. But for us, it signals our favorite month. Meet the 20 movers and shakers that have us fired up this year.

Danny Bowien may now technically live in New York, where the East Coast outpost of Mission Chinese Food propelled him from James Beard Rising Star Chef nominee to winner in the past year.

But given that he spends a week of each month in the city that launched him, refuses to give up his SoMa apartment, is working on a cookbook-slash-memoir with Lucky Peach editor in chief Chris Ying, and plans to open another restaurant in SF with Mission Chinese Food chef Jesse Koide, Bowien surely qualifies for dual citizenship.

And even after exploding on the national scene—from a Uniqlo ad campaign to appearances on both The Martha Stewart Show and Late Night with Jimmy Fallon—he’s as humble as ever. “I think I’m the luckiest person. Period. We’ve worked really hard, but it’s just insane,” he says of the accolades.

Of course, he’s not done yet: another NYC restaurant is slated to open this winter, and then there’s that new SF venture—a non-Chinese concept set for next year. Details are slim but the time is nigh: “There’s so much opportunity. It’s an exciting time for SF.” Ditto for Bowien.

Styled by: Lauren Goodman 
Hair: Takeo Suzuki
Makeup: Chi Chi Saito