Txikito (New York, NY), El Quinto Pino (New York, NY) and La Vara (Brooklyn, NY)
Alex Raij is half of the husband and wife team behind Txikito, Chelsea's acclaimed Basque restaurant; El Quinto Pino, named the Absolute Best Tapas by New York Magazine, La Vara, exploring Jewish and Moorish influence in southern Spain; and Saint Julivert, a petit fisherie inspired by ports of call near and far. Alex's cookbook, The Basque Book: A Love Story in Recipes from the Kitchen of Txikito, is a deeply personal writer's debut inspired by the home cooking traditions of the Basque country. Alex distinguishes herself by creating dishes that capture a sense of place without giving up a sense of personal intimacy. The result is delicious, inimitable, and authentic on all levels.