Skip to Navigation Skip to Content

Hot 20: The New Kids on the Block

Left to right: Andrea Correa, pastry chef at Parallel 37; Shawn Gawle, pastry chef at Saison; Stephanie Prida, pastry chef at Manresa. Photograph by Ed Anderson.

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.

Realizing just how much we San Franciscans take for granted can be a good thing. And that happens within minutes of meeting these pastry stars, all relatively new arrivals.

The variety and quality of the produce available here, says Colombian-born Andrea Correa, is “mind-blowing.” Equally mind-blowing is her take on the humble rhubarb: she turns it into jam, broth, and chips. But then, after cooking at Copenhagen’s Noma, she’s used to diving deep into local ingredients.

Shawn Gawle started on the savory side, but after confessing to his mentor, Laurent Gras, an interest in pastries, he soon found himself in charge of them. Now he divides his time between inventing four of Saison’s 18 nightly courses—“we’re doing a roasted buckwheat soufflé”—and hosting barbecues in his Mission District backyard: “I have a lime tree!”

And even though Stephanie Prida is from San Diego, she shows the zeal of a newly arrived Californian. A few years working in Chicago might be responsible: “Michigan has amazing cherries and blueberries,” she says. “but in the winter, you really struggle.” These days, she has Love Apple Farm as a resource. “I make a pesto with lovage that goes with nectarine custard and cucumbers, which also come from the farm.” Then she bursts out, “California is the best place on earth to cook!”

Shawn Gawle picks the best sandwiches in SF

Saigon Sandwich is amazing, but also Deli Board, on Seventh and Howard. They’re like $11 sandwiches, but every one is fucking great—it’s the best sandwich shop here.”