If there's one thing our friends at Food & Wine do even better than throwing fabulous festivals all around the country, developing stellar recipes and generally making our lives more appetizing - it's identifying up and coming talent from around the country.
In each of the ten designated regions of the country, you - yes, YOU - may vote for the chef whose restaurant has most significantly stirred your soul and your palate. The winner of the The People's Best New Chef 2011 will be the subject of a profile in the July issue of Food & Wine and will no doubt hold you in tremendous gratitude and esteem until the end of time.
We and the editors of Food & Wine would greatly prefer that you only vote for chefs whose restaurants you've actually visited, so the "chef" part of The People's Best New Chef 2011 really holds true. See more details at foodandwine.com and let the clicking commence!
On getting diners to leave their comfort zones: “I am not going to sell myself out to please every single person—you just can’t. I do things simply, and I use ingredients that people like, and then I get them to try new things.”
Extreme locavorism: Ham and High is located in a planned community that has individual farming plots for residences, as well as one for the restaurant.
Best perk of running his own kitchen: “I [can] play loud country music, rock or gangster rap during the middle of service if I feel the urge.”
Why he’s amazing: Because he juxtaposes unlikely ingredients in interesting ways, such as a scallop crudo with apple, truffle and jalapeño.
Powerful food memory: “Every January, my family killed the pigs they raised all year to make sausages, salami, prosciutto, soppressata, pancetta and, of course, freshly cooked pork.”
Must-try dish: Beer-steamed mussels with truffle fries.
Best known for: Putting ink where his mouth is: A die-hard New Orleans Saints fan, Burgau has their motto “Who Dat!” tattooed on the inside of his lip.
Favorite cooking technique: “Not cooking at all. I like curing meat and the sorts of preservation methods that have been around forever. That is what I think is cool.”
How he got into cooking: “I was getting ready to go to college, and two weeks before, my mom opened a bakery. She said, ‘Come work for me, make a little extra money.’ I started there doing breakfast—simple egg sandwiches, simple omelets. And I never went to college.”
Why he’s amazing: Because he returned to his hometown to cook French-influenced Southern food and make his own charcuterie for what he calls his “Bubba Brasserie.”
Voting starts on 2/15/11 and ends 3/1/11 at www.foodandwine.com/peoples-bnc. One vote per computer per region. Votes from any automated means or intended to disrupt the voting process (in American Express Publishing Corporation’s sole discretion) will be void. Chefs with the highest eligible votes per region will become finalists (10 total). The People's Best New Chef title will be determined based on highest number of eligible votes received during the voting period. All votes subject to verification.
© 2011 American Express Publishing Corporation. All rights reserved.
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