Ages: 38 and 31. Why they are rising: This restaurant in a former gas station is brimming with originality and sizzle. The menu features "tastes" such as the warm crispy package of asparagus, roasted tomato and fontina, and appetizers such as crabcake beignet, and crawfish pie. Entrées include seasonal fish signature dishes, such as seared halibut with pineapple studded basmati rice, coconut sauce and lime oil. Backgrounds: Clark, a Wisconsin native, cooked at Sanford in Milwaukee, 1001 Nob Hill and Amelio's in San Francisco, as well as Quilted Giraffe and Le Bernardin in N. Y. C. She was transferred to Atlanta by Le Bernardin in 1994 to serve as sous chef when Brasserie Le Coze opened. She later worked at Harvest Restaurant and Vino!, both in Atlanta, before opening Dish. Wilson has worked in the following Atlanta-area restaurants: Harvest, Brasserie Le Coze, Luna Si Restaurant, Bice Ristorante, 103 West, and Capital City Club. Cooking style: American seasonal cooking. Signature dish: Endive, gorgonzola and grilled pear salad with walnut vinaigrette; porcini-crusted house-smoked beef tenderloin with roasted potatoes and red wine pepper sauce, plus seasonal fish dishes. Clark's mentors: Sandy D'Amato of Sanford in Milwaukee, and Eric Ripert and Gilbert Le Coze of Le Bernardin. What the critics say: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution says of Sheri Clark, "She has produced a menu filled with originality, humor and cutting-edge intrigue. Everyone is talking about her utterly cool bar snack—a bowl of popcorn popped in rosemary-infused oil and flecked with toasted pine nuts." And, says Atlanta Business Chronicle, "Since Dish's doors opened. . .a table at the small, but stylish restaurant has been in hot demand."
PHOTO: ALLISON SHIRREFFS