7. Justin Warner, 29
Chef/Owner of Do or Dine
It takes serious cojones to serve foie gras-filled donuts and Dr. Pepper-glazed frog legs in the heart of Bed-Stuy (especially without bothering to remove the restaurant’s old West Indian awning first). But Do or Dine proved to be an instant recipe for success. Even Alton Brown fell under the spell of Warner’s off-kilter charm, helping usher him toward the big title on the Next Food Network Star. But if the reality-TV fame fades? There’s always a dedicated Nippon Nacho-loving crowd waiting for him at home in Brooklyn.
8. David Reilly, 28
The Greenpoint-based BAMcinematek staffer is the youngest programmer in the city. We know what you’re thinking—what’s a film programmer? “Someone who conceives and organizes film retrospectives and festivals, which can include tracking down rare prints and new restorations of older films, securing premieres of new work, luring special guests for appearances, moderating onstage Q&As, writing program notes, and everything in between,” he tells us. Programming is a business of relationships—with filmmakers, distributors and archives—which might put younger programmers at a disadvantage, but being young and at BAM has its benefits. “New York’s repertory venues tend to be divided between the larger, more established institutions whose audience and staff skews a bit older, and the scrappier microcinemas and art spaces who can draw a younger crowd but lack the same level of outreach and access to resources. At BAMcinematek we’re lucky to have certain advantages of both: we’re a young team who work hard to bridge that age gap and provide a diverse, adventurous program at an iconic New York institution that appeals to our young Brooklyn audience,” he tells us. “Location certainly helps—many of the filmmakers we work with are Brooklyn-based, and even the stodgiest distributors want their films to show in Brooklyn these days.”
9. Nick Subic, 30
Chef/Owner of King Noodle
He may have arrived in NYC carrying only a backpack, but Subic managed quickly to fall in with a forward-thinking restaurant crowd, bouncing from Roberta’s to Do or Dine to The Pines. Subic now fronts his own, Asian-esque restaurant in Bushwick, where he’s somehow convinced diners that mapo tofu pairs perfectly with cheese fries, and crushed Doritos have a home on top of kimchee carbonara. Now that’s influence.