Who are your SD culinary heroes? There's a similar thread focusing on SD favorite chefs, but I wanted to tweak the focus a bit more broadly in one sense, and a bit more narrowly in another.
The kitchen chef is often given most all of the credit for a successful restaurant, but there are many unsung heroes who may not carry the moniker of chef to his/her title but nevertheless are often critically important in the preparation of some specialty item.
These are the true specialists who may be "culinary rock stars" amongst a small subculture of dedicated followers, creating magic that is seldom recognized by the larger industry around them. Or perhaps they are "rock stars" only in your mind and unnoticed by everyone else, but their presence makes your day a little bit better. Though they may or may not work in a kitchen, they are responsible in some direct way in the creation of a specialty food product somewhere along the line.
Perhaps they're a specialty grower, a bread baker, a poultryman, a mixologist, a barista, a winemaker, a confectionist, a chocolatier, a tea grower, an aquaculturist, or perhaps even one who cultures yeasts.
And it's not meant to be a top 5 list either, so this is the time to recognize, say, that barista who always gets the milk texture just right for your morning Latte.
So let's hear the name of up to 5 of your culinary specialist heroes that you'd like to recognize, their specialty, and the name of their company, restaurant, or operation.
Name * their culinary specialty * name of company / restaurant / operation * notes
example: (with tongue firmly planted in cheek)
* Orville Redenbacher * popcorn specialist * ConAgra Foods, Inc. * because he's a local boy from Coronado!
* Paulie Cicero * "Good Fellas thin" garlic preparation * Lucchese crime family * garlic "so thin it would liquefy in the pan"
* Apu Nahasapeemapetilon * The All Syrup Super Squishy * Kwik-E-Mart * because before Apu, "such a thing has never been done"
* Moe * bartender, creator of the "Flaming Moe" * Moe's Tavern * first documented use of cough syrup in an alcoholic beverage
* Herschel Shmoikel Pinchas Yerucham Krustofski (aka Krusty the Clown) * Jagged Metal Krusty O's cereal * Krusty Korporation * because what kid can't resist a nutrition-free food with one Jagged Metal Krusty O inside
So who gets your vote for the 5 S.D. culinary specialist "rock star" heroes that you'd like to recognize?