George Marrone, Chef, Aqua, San Francisco, CA

When George Marrone opened Aqua last year in San Francisco, he was a small fish in a very large pond, and it seemed he would quickly be devoured by the piranhas of fate and fortune. His was an upstream swim, creating an all-seafood restaurant in an ocean city that--ironically--has rejected such entries.

Locating two doors down from the 143-year-old Tadich Grill--the one seafood house San Franciscans have embraced--seemed crazy too, as was its location in a financial district that trad

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