Nate Appleman

Nate Appleman is famous for a lot of things. Most notably perhaps is his most recent turn as a star chef-testant on Food Network's 'The Next Iron Chef: Redemption', where he cut up the competition on his way to becoming a finalist. What this 2009 James Beard Rising Star Award recipient might be most famous for, though, is trading in his 18-hour workdays at more prestigious kitchens to be culinary manager of the Chipotle Mexican Grill chain. When he gets to travel, here's where he likes to go:

Animal - Los Angeles, CA - "Animal is a very simple restaurant. When it first opened, it was all about being over the top and animal-centric in your face, which was great. Now it's a grown-up restaurant serving some of the most interesting cutting-edge food and flavors without losing its core value of simplicity, which took it from great to amazing."

Zahav - Philadelphia, PA - "Michael [Solomonov] is serving food that is so close to his heart and personal, but doing it on a level that translates to enjoyment for all."

City House - Nashville, TN - "Tandy [Wilson] blends Southern food with Italian food like they are a match made in heaven."

Aziza - San Francisco, CA - "Mourad [Lahlou] elevates the food from his homeland to Michelin-star quality by using the best ingredients available in Northern California."

Peasant - New York, NY - "My version of comfort food. Rustic Italian food cooked by live fire."