clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Eater Young Guns 2018: Meet the Philly Semifinalists

Featuring a sommelier and an executive chef

Walnut Street Cafe
Justin Blasi/Eater Philly

Eater’s Young Guns searches for the best up-and-comers in the food and drink industry across the country, and this year’s semifinalist list, revealed today, includes two Philadelphia names, chosen out of a pool of hundreds of young food industry professionals. The winners will be announced in June.

The nominations, which were open to the public, collected the most talented chefs, sommeliers, bakers, etc. pushing the envelopes in their fields all under the age of 30 or worked for less than five years. 2,054 nominations were received for 2018, covering 623 nominees (including some pairs). Next, a panel of chefs, sommeliers, bakers, and more, will whittle the 50 semifinalists down to the official 2018 crop of Eater Young Guns,

Learn more about all the semifinalists over on Eater, but here are the two locals who are in the running:

Kaitlyn Caruke

Kaitlyn Caruke, head sommelier at Walnut Street Cafe: this 29-year-old was previously at Michelin-starred Rebelle in NYC, before her bosses there gave her wine-selecting powers for their new Philly restaurant. Walnut Street Cafe opened in Philly in summer 2017 with Caruke’s wine program in place.

Caitlin McMillan

Caitlin McMillan, executive chef at Goldie: Michael Solomonov and Steven Cook have considered this 29-year-old to be a one-woman “special forces operation” across projects within their CookNSolo restaurant group. She started out as a line cook at Zahav in 2014, was an opening sous-chef at Dizengoff, and is now in charge at falafel and tahini-shake-maker extraordinaire Goldie, which opened in spring 2017 and soon added two more locations.

Philly has seen Young Guns success before: Jesse Ito, chef-owner of Royal Sushi and Izakaya was named an Eater Young Gun for 2017.


1601 North Front Street, , PA 19122 Visit Website

Walnut Street Cafe

2929 Walnut Street, , PA 19104 (215) 867-8067 Visit Website