Each year, food publication Eater names its Young Guns. The publication searches for the rising stars in the food industry, with the goal of identifying newcomers who will shape the industry for years to come.
Nominees must be under the age of 30 or have less than five years of experience in the food industry. Eater scours the internet looking for reviews and recommendations, talking to references, and making the trek to places of business to find the right candidates.
The sixth annual Young Guns have been named, with a mix of talented chefs, restauranteurs, bar managers, and others. Among those is Mimi Mendoza of Honolulu, Hawaii. She is the pastry chef at Senia, a massively hyped new restaurant that is bringing attentional to serious fine dining in Honolulu.
Senia’s goal is to showcase the bounty of Hawaii and provide food that is a cultural intersection of the chefs and their experiences. One of those chefs is Mimi Mendoza. She hopes that Senia will help many of Hawaii’s best chefs to realize that there’s a reason to stay in the area.
Mendoza is doing her part to contribute to that reputation. She creates much-lauded desserts, such as her lemon chiffon cake and sticky toffee banana cake. She loves simple and beautiful desserts, and has a special affinity for local fruits. “Out here, that's what people are eating every day. So my goal here is to use what's around, definitely, but I want to introduce people to new flavor combinations and new textures,” Mendoza tells Eater.