* Jan Birnbaum: executive chef of Campton Place Hotel, San Francisco. Worked in New Orleans under Chef Paul Prudhomme; also in New York and Denver. Campton Place was named one of the 25 best restaurants in the United States in the August issue of Food & Wine magazine. Partner: Harold Marmelstein, Polo Grill.
* Marty Cosgrove: a 1989 graduate of Baltimore International Culinary College, also studied at La Varenne in Paris. Currently executive chef at Oakborne Country Club, Lafayette, La., and a board member of the St. Landry Parish Heritage Festival. Partner: Mark Henry, the Milton Inn.
* Roberto Donna: a native of Italy, has been cooking since the age of 9. Currently owns Galileo and I Matti Trattoria in Washington. Honors include "One of the Ten Best Chefs in America" from Food & Wine magazine, the 1991 Catrina De Medici Award and the Chef of America Award from the Master Chefs Society. Partner: Allison Dugdale, Foster's.
* Larry Forgione: known for updated American cuisine, owns An American Place in Manhattan and recently opened the Beekman 1776 Tavern at the Beekman Arms in Rhinebeck, N.Y. In 1989 he was named chef of the year by the Culinary Institute of America, the first alumnus to receive this award. He's a founding trustee of the James Beard Foundation. Partner: Randy Stahl, the Brass Elephant.
* Mark Miller: noted for what he calls "modern Western cuisine," worked with Alice Waters at Chez Panisse in 1976. Later opened the Coyote Cafe in Santa Fe, N.M., and the new Red Sage in Washington. He has written best-selling books, including "Coyote Cafe" in 1989, and "The Great Chile Book," in 1991. Partner: Rudy Speckamp, Rudys' 2900 restaurant.
* Chef Paul Prudhomme: noted for his efforts to preserve and expand the traditions of Louisiana food, and for his best-selling cookbooks, TV appearances and videos. He owns K-Paul's restaurants in New Orleans and New York. He has written several cookbooks including the recent "Chef Paul Prudhomme's Seasoned America." He is the founder of the St. Landry Parish Heritage Festival. Partner: Michael Rork, Harbor Court Hotel.
* Stephen Pyles: who began cooking at age 8 at his family's Truck Stop Cafe in West Texas, later studied cooking in California and France. Restaurants include Routh Street Cafe and Baby Routh in Dallas. Among his honors is the 1991 chef of the year award for the southwest region, from the James Beard Foundation. This fall, he will publish a book, "New Texas Cuisine." Partner: Connie Crabtree, Foods Unlimited of Hearn and Kirkwood.
* Jimmy Sneed: studied at Cordon Bleu and worked for Jean-Louis Palladin at Jean Louis at the Watergate. He opened Windows on Urbanna Creek in Urbanna, Va., in 1987, specializing in Chesapeake cuisine. It was named "The best restaurant on the lower Bay" by Chesapeake Bay magazine. Partner: Benny Gordon, Restaurant 2110.
* Alice Waters: opened Chez Panisse in Berkeley, Calif., in 1971, with an insistence on fresh foods served imaginatively. She is an avid environmentalist who serves on the board of directors of the Land Institute in Salina, Kan., and on the national committee of Mothers and Others for Pesticide Limits. Her books include "Chez Panisse Menu Cookbook," "Chez Panisse Pasta, Pizza and Calzone Cookbook," with Patricia Curtan and Martine Labro, "Chez Panisse Desserts," with Lindsey Remolif Shere, and "Chez Panisse Cooking," with Paul Bertolli. Partner: Nancy Longo, Pierpoint.
* Jasper White: a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, opened Jaspers restaurant in Boston in 1983, specializing in updated New England cuisine. In 1991, he was named "Best Chef in the Northeast" at the James Beard awards in New York. He's the author of the 1989 cookbook "Jasper White's Cooking from New England." Partner: Linwood Dame, Linwood's.