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Who's Who Among Milwaukee Chefs

Dale Frost/Flickr

For such an unassuming culinary city, Milwaukee is gaining steam in the trendy restaurant scene - thanks to its chefs.

Unlike celebrity chefs like Guy Fieri and Anthony Bourdain who gain fans with their television show-honed personalities, Milwaukee’s top chefs gain popularity based on their culinary reputation.

Since these chefs move around as much as the wait staff who refill our water glasses, it can be hard to keep track of who’ s where and what's hot in Milwaukee kitchens.

Luckily, Milwaukee Magazine’s senior editor and dining critic, Ann Christenson, came up with a chef matrix - a fun look at where chefs have been and where they’re going.

“It charts these [16] chefs actively working right now in Milwaukee," she says. "It begins at the first restaurant they worked at, and then it kind of charts their progress over the years to where they’ re working now."

Christenson says the interest in local chefs is rising, so the matrix offers an interesting (albeit somewhat overwhelming) look at now-closed establishments, restaurants chefs have closed and reopened, and a storied trek across Milwaukee food.

“[We] see chefs as interesting, or a little badass. It’ s a little more creative profession than, perhaps, a CPA," she says.

Dan Harmon was one of the original members of Lake Effect (formerly At Ten). He started at WUWM in November of 1998 and left December of 2015 after 17 years of production.