Timothy Voss, Executive Chef, Forté, Birmingham, Michigan.
Age: 29. Why he's rising: Voss joined Forté as sous chef in 1997, the same year it was named one of the country's "Best New Restaurants" by Esquire magazine. And soon thereafter, the head chef left, thrusting Voss into the bright lights. He has responded brilliantly, performing to a packed house nearly every night. Ladder climbing: After studying at the Culinary School of Kendall College, Voss landed a job at Ambria, where he cooked under Takashi Yagahasi. Later, he was tapped for the opening team of David Burke's Park Avenue Cafe in Chicago. Later, he followed Yagahasi to Tribute in Detroit. Cooking style: Regional American cuisine with Asian and Mediterranean influences. Mentor: Takashi Yagahasi. Signature dishes: : Seared sea bass with wild mushroom crust, horseradish mashed potatoes, beurre rouge sauce; Canadian pheasant with risotto, Michigan squash, asparagus, black trumpets and truffle jus. What the critics say: "Forte's chef Tim Voss presents a menu full of magical combinations. Every dish we tried at that luncheon was splendid."—Detroit MetroTimes.