Best of Boston

1998 Best New Chef

Rene Michelena

Within a few short months of his arrival at La Bettola, Michelena had helped the new South End tavern win honors from Esquire, Bon Appetit, and Food and Wine magazine as one of the best new restaurants in America. Raised in a Spanish-Filipino culinary tradition and trained in the finest kitchens in the country, Michelena has an extraordinary palate that is able to infuse French, Italian, and Asian flavors with subtelty and mastery. Having made his mark at La Bettola, which he still oversees, Michelena has recently taken over the kitchen at its sister restaurant, Galleria Italiana.

La Bettola, 480A Columbus Ave., 617-236-5252,