President, P.F. Chang's China Bistro, Phoenix
Age: 41. Why he's rising: Brinker CEO Ron McDougal and concept guru Phil Romano usually get the credit for Macaroni Grill's success. But cognoscenti know Federico guided the chain's rapid growth. Ladder climbing: 1981-89, partner, Grady's Goodtimes; 1989-93, senior vice president, Romano's Macaroni Grill; 1993-1996, president of Italian concepts, Brinker International. Schooling: B.A., University of Tennessee. Performance: Solid team builder and top-notch operator. Mentor: Ron McDougal. Lesson: "Find the best talent. Allow it to set the course. Be there to support it." First job in foodservice: Dishwasher, Steak & Ale, Knoxville, Tenn. Goal: Three new P.F. Chang's this year, in Denver, Houston, and Las Vegas.