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Oliver Saucy, Owner/Chef, Saucy's Pompano Beach, Pompano Beach, FL

While you and I were out roller-skating as kids, seven-year-old Oliver Saucy was having "fun" boning chickens and stirring stock. A goofy kid? Maybe, but you and I didn't live in a medieval German castle with a father who's a master chef.

Later on, when the elder Saucy accepted a teaching position at the Culinary Institute of America, young Oliver's fate was sealed. "I tried to dissuade him, telling him he would work weekends and long hours, but he loves it," says dad Eric.

Since then, the whiz kid has been on a fast track, graduating from the CIA and by age 24 claiming co-ownership of the highly regarded Cafe Max. Now, four years later, Saucy's Pompano Beach, Fla. restaurant--an American grill that features "new world" cuisine--has been rated by Zagat as South Florida's second best restaurant (behind Mark Militello's Mark's Place.) On top of that, Saucy was recently asked to present a "rising star" dinner at New York's James Beard House, which showcases the talents of the nation's hottest chefs. So maybe Saucy's childhood was consumed in the stockpot of circumstance, but he's now skating through life with a smile.