After several months of careful evaluations of hundreds of nominations, Eater has named its semifinalists for the Young Guns class of 2018 and metro Detroit native and Selden Standard pastry chef Lena Sareini is in the running.
Sareini, 25, is responsible for creating all the amazing breads and desserts at Selden Standard, considered one of Detroit’s best restaurants. Sareini is passionate about keeping her menu items current and seasonal while also challenging herself to learn new skills. “There is never an opportunity to get stuck or bored because there will always be something out there that is new to you, whether it’s an ingredient or a technique,” she says of the job. Earlier this year, Sareini was named a semifinalist for a James Beard Award for Rising Star Chef of the Year.
Originally launched in 2012, Eater Young Guns seeks out and recognizes up-and-coming front- and back-of-house industry talent across the United States. The criteria is simple: Young Guns must be under 30 or have less than five years of experience in the industry. They all work hard and excel in their field, have gained deep respect from their peers, and hope to change the restaurant world for the better.
This year, Eater editors and the 2018 Eater Young Guns committee comprised of industry leaders pored over 2,054 entries for 623 nominees while also conducting interviews to gain further insight into each submission. The list released today includes 50 semifinalists (53 total, including three teams of two).
Being named a semifinalist is a huge honor and if selected for the Eater Young Guns class of 2018, Sareini will join a growing list of local industry professionals who’ve received the recognition. Past local Eater Young Guns include Garrett Lipar of forthcoming chefs table Albena, Sister Pie’s Lisa Ludwinski, bartender Dorothy Elizabeth (now at Straylight in New York), and Elias Majid of Eli Tea Bar. The final list of 2018 Eater Young Guns will be announced in June.
• Eater Young Guns 2018: Meet the Semifinalists [E]
• Meet the Eater Young Guns 2018 Judging Committee [E]
• Meet the Wizards Behind Detroit’s Booming Sweets Scene [ED]
• All Eater Young Guns Coverage [E]