Thomas Keller. Nancy Silverton. David Chang. Stephanie Izard. Bryan Moscatello (the Little Nell, 2003). Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson (Frasca Food and Wine, 2005). Alex Seidel (Fruition, 2010). Over the past 31 years, the team at Food & Wine has scoured the country, hunting for the innovative tastemakers poised to lead the nation’s culinary conversation. And this morning, the news broke that Caroline Glover, chef-owner of Annette in Aurora’s Stanley Marketplace, is part of the 2019 class of Food & Wine Best New Chefs.

As restaurant editor Jordana Rothman said last year, “These chefs represent the country’s best restaurant cooking and offer a clarion call for the kind of future we’d like to see: one that celebrates character, commitment, and imagination on and off the plate; amplifies all kinds of voices; and is always, of course, full of dazzling things to eat.”

Glover is in incredible company: Mutsuko Soma (Kamonegi in Seattle); Misti Norris (Petra and the Beast in Dallas); Kwame Onwuachi (Kith/Kin in Washington, D.C.); Matthew Kammerer (Harbor House Inn in Elk, California); Junghyun Park (Atomix in Manhattan); Bryan Furman (B’s Cracklin’ BBQ in Atlanta); Nite Yun (Nyum Bai in Oakland, California); Paxx Caraballo Moll (Jungle Bao Bao in San Juan, Puerto Rico); and Brandon Go (Hayato in Los Angeles). The diverse group will be featured in the July issue of Food & Wine and participate in the Classic in Aspen (June 14-16).

Glover was not expecting to hear such news from Rothman, who said that she wanted to talk to Glover about a recent dinner at Annette. “I was sitting in the parking lot after acupuncture when I got the call,” Glover says. “It was the same day as the James Beard Award semifinalist nominations (Glover earned a nod for Best Chef: Southwest), so it was a crazy roller coaster of a day. But I remember thinking when I got off the phone that she gets what Annette is all about.”

Since opening in December 2017, Glover and her team (sous chef Chelsey Maschhoff; general manager Dan Seibel; bar manager Miles Mazey; line cook Jake Taggs; and Glover’s husband, Nelson) have stuck to Glover’s vision for Annette—named after her feisty aunt—creating an intimate, comfortable, welcoming restaurant where the cooking is simple and rooted in the seasons. Rothman told Glover that she loved how confident the seasoning at Annette is, as well as how the presence of just three cooks in the open kitchen is felt and appreciated.

“The whole point was to create this cozy environment where people really do feel that they are guests in our dining room,” Glover says, “and where we serve the food we want to serve.” Pushing boundaries with menu items such as grilled beef tongue and marrow toast and insisting on paying her employees equally and splitting tips among servers and cooks (even in the face of server turnover), Glover has succeeded in keeping Annette true.

Food & Wine isn’t the only media outlet who appreciates what Glover (a former sous chef at Acorn in Denver and the Spotted Pig in New York City) and her team are doing. Annette has earned several James Beard Award nominations; Bon Appétit named it one of the best restaurants in the country in 2017; and Annette has appeared on 5280’s 25 Best Restaurants list every year since opening.

When asked what comes next at Annette, Glover says that she is excited to plan a Best New Chef dinner on Thursday, June 13 as the group travels from their home cities to the Classic in Aspen. Otherwise, Glover says, “Our plan is to keep doing what we’re doing.” Thank goodness for that.

If you go: Annette is located at 2501 Dallas St. in Aurora, inside the Stanley Marketplace. As a Food & Wine Best New Chef, Glover will be a headliner at this year’s Food & Wine Classic in Aspen (June 14-16); tickets are available here. We’ll report further when the details of the Best New Chef dinner at Annette are known.

Denise Mickelsen
Denise Mickelsen
Denise Mickelsen is 5280’s former food editor. She oversaw all of 5280’s food-related coverage from October 2016 to March 2021.