Chef Nery Hernandez - left his native Guatemala in 2000 with the goal of proving himself in America’s high-pressure kitchens. Breaking into the industry in Washington, DC, he ascended from line cook to executive chef at the Georgetown restaurant J. Paul’s.
In 2006, he relocated to Philadelphia and broke into Stephen Starr’s employ as a sous chef at the Continental Midtown. He’d later run the show at Starr’s flagship Continental in Old City before becoming executive chef at the Atlantic City outpost of Buddakan. Currently, Hernandez runs the show at Starr’s stalwart Buddakan in Old City; the globally minded pan-Asian restaurant remains one of the hottest tables in town.
Buddakan - An Old City Shrine to Modern Asian Fare, 325 Chestnut Street, (215) 574-9440, buddakan.com