New York, USA
Reasons to visit: A buzzing vibe is combined with exceptional, original food and attentive but chilled out service. Led by the inimitable Daniela Soto-Innes, The World's Best Female Chef 2019, this is the sort of New York restaurant you can travel across the world to enjoy, or return to time and again.
Brief history: Cosme was opened in 2014 by Mexican master chef Enrique Olvera, who had the vision to appoint his young but talented protégée Soto-Innes to lead the kitchen. In its five years, the restaurant has established itself as one of the hippest in Manhattan while Soto-Innes has simultaneously emerged as a breakout star of the global dining scene.
On the menu: Select from the likes of snow crab infladita, butternut tamal, Artic char with sea buckthorn and aguachile and the signature duck carnitas – not forgetting desserts including eucalyptus cheesecake and a memorable corn husk meringue. All should be preceded by a mezcal cocktail from the bar at the front of the Flatiron district location.
Better balance: Soto-Innes prides herself on having a kitchen staff that is 50% female, 50% male, with a mix of nationalities from all over the US, Latin America and beyond. She runs a famously relaxed kitchen, often with music, dancing and pre-service warm-up exercises.
Other ventures: Olvera and Soto-Innes added more casual Mexican restaurant Atla to their New York portfolio in 2017. This year sees them heading west with two openings in Los Angeles, followed by a restaurant in Wynn Las Vegas slated for early 2020.
NB: Soto-Innes left Cosme as of 20 December 2020.