Oriole’s Noah Sandoval named one of Food & Wine’s Best New Chefs


Noah Sandoval of Oriole is have a pretty good year, on top of his Food & Wine honor, he is the Tribune’s Chef of the Year and his restaurant Oriole won four stars from critic Phil Vettel.

(Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune)

Noah Sandoval, chef/owner of Oriole restaurant (661 W. Walnut St., 312-877-5339), is having a good day.

He was named Chef of the Year in the Chicago Tribune’s Food & Dining Awards, announced this morning. (See the story here.) At virtually the same time, Food & Wine magazine included Sandoval in its 2017 list of the country’s Best New Chefs.

The Tribune recognition is an affirmation of the four-star review I gave Oriole in June. The Food & Wine honor carries national significance.

"Chicago has a long legacy of game-changing tasting menus, and Sandoval is its latest player," said Food & Wine editor-n-chief Nilou Motamed. "Noah is a chef with gob-smacking vision, who convinced us, in the space of 16 sublime courses, that the country’s best new fine-dining experience can be found through a freight elevator at the end of a West Loop alleyway."

Sandoval is one of 12 chefs honored in this, Food & Wine’s 29th annual Best New Chefs award. The honor has proven to be a fairly strong predictor of future success; in the award’s first year (1988), Food & Wine’s picks incluced Thomas Keller and Rick Bayless, and they’ve had pretty decent careers.

Other previous winners from the Chicago area include Paul Kahan (1999), Takashi Yagihashi (2000), Grant Achatz (2002), Stephanie Izard (2011), Danny Grant (2012), Jason Vincent (2013), Dave Beran (2014), Jack Bickelhaupt (2015) and Iliana Regan (2016).

"I don’t really know what to say; it’s mind-blowing," Sandoval said. "I’ve spent years admiring those people, and then, wow, to get this cool award, not just for me, but for the restaurant as well. Hopefully this will solidify our reservations forever, and keep us on the map for as long as we can be."

To read more, and to see the full list, go to Food & Wine’s site here.

Phil Vettel is a Tribune critic