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Elka Gilmore, Camelions, Santa Monica, CA

California cuisine, however marketable, is so rarely prepared with true integrity that one wonders if it is anywhere near as exemplary as it is sometimes said to be. In the kitchen of Elka Gilmore, chef, Camelions, California cuisine -- with all of its freshness, seasonability, and sunny flavorings -- is achieved without any loss of pure flavor. Gilmore, who is only 25 years old, is brilliant, never flashy for the sake of it, and always smart and canny about what she does with her ingredients. When all of the smart-alecks are long forgotten, Elka Gilmore will be at the top of the heap for her sense and sensibility about the best way to cook anything.