Age: 25. Why he's rising: Elevated Scandinavian-inspired cuisine to new heights. The restaurant, which had won two stars, then lost a star and many customers with it, won three stars from The New York Times just months after Samuelsson's arrival. Background: Born in Ethiopia and orphaned at the age of 3, he was adopted by a Swedish couple and raised in Göteborg, Sweden. Attended culinary school there before apprenticing with French star chef Georges Blanc's restaurant near Lyons. Later apprenticed with Christer Larsson at Aquavit, then cooked aboard a luxury Swedish cruise ship before returning to Aquavit. Cooking style: Utilizes Sweden's classic juxtaposition of sweet and savory flavors and ingredients while incorporating techniques of American and French cuisines with strong Asian influences. Signature dish: Yellowfin tuna and salmon rosette. What the critics say: "Mr. Samuelsson is cooking delicate and beautiful food, walking a tightrope between Swedish tradition and modern taste. . . As I ate the roasted-lobster salad, I found myself chasing the flavors. . . It was maddeningly delicious," —New York Times restaurant critic, Ruth Reichl.