Food & Wine's The People's Best New Chef 2011: Midwest
February 15th, 2011
02:30 AM ET
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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.

Since 1988, the editors of Food & Wine have feasted their way from coast to coast, seeking out 10 innovative chefs, each with a distinctive vision, creating exceptionally delicious food. They've bestowed upon these shining stars the title of Best New Chef. This year, the dining public has a say.

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 and let the clicking commence!

Midwest | Pacific | Southwest | Northwest | New England

Southeast | New York Area | Great Lakes | Mid-Atlantic | Gulf Coast

Lee Richardson
Courtesy of Ashley’s

Lee Richardson
Ashley’s at the Capital Hotel - Little Rock, AR

Most unique hotel trait: Built in the 1800s, the hotel’s elevator was made large enough to carry both a man and his horse.

Carly Groben
Duane Tinkey/BPC

Carly Groben
Proof - Des Moines, IA

Why she's amazing: She’s translating Northern African and Mediterranean flavors for a Midwestern audience.

Mike Brown and James Winberg
Courtesy of Travail

Mike Brown and James Winberg
Travail - Robbinsdale, MN

How they save on decorating costs: A pig skull leftover from headcheese is re-purposed as window decoration.

Landon Schoenefeld
Courtesy of HauteDish

Landon Schoenefeld
HauteDish - Minneapolis, MN

Nickname: Colonel Mustard” - Schoenefeld once sprayed mustard at a bartender who asked for a salad with dressing on the side.

Erik Anderson
Kate Gustafson

Erik Anderson
Sea Change - Minneapolis, MN

Favorite cooking tool: Spoons; he buys them on eBay or at antique stores. “I get really weird about my spoons. I have three spoons, and I tell people I usually like them more than most people I work with.”

Alex Pope
Chris Pavlacka

Alex Pope
R Bar - Kansas City, MO

Mixology program: Classic cocktails like the Moscow mule and a Prescription Julep - rye whiskey, cognac, mint and hand-crushed ice served in copper mug.

Anthony Devoti
Courtesy of Five

Anthony Devoti
Five - St. Louis, MO

What it means to be a chef: "When we are creative, we can change our menu up, and if you don’t do that, you’re not being a proper chef. Opening a can, dumping it in a pan and calling yourself a chef is not how it works.”

Kevin Willmann
Greg Rannells

Kevin Willmann
Farmhaus - St. Louis, MO

Oddball ingredient: Duck giblets (Willmann serves them fried).

Josh Galliano
Gregg Goldman

Josh Galliano
Monarch - Maplewood, MO

Beverage program: Galliano makes his own root beer using sarsaparilla, ginger, anise, licorice root and cane syrup.

Tim Dahl
Courtesy of Tim Dahl

Tim Dahl
Nostrano - Madison, WI

Why he's amazing: Although he trained as a pastry chef, Dahl’s savory Italian-inflected dishes are spot-on.

Midwest | Pacific | Southwest | Northwest | New England

Southeast | New York Area | Great Lakes | Mid-Atlantic | Gulf Coast

Voting starts on 2/15/11 and ends 3/1/11 at 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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Filed under: Best New Chef 2011 • Content Partner • Food and Wine

soundoff (163 Responses)
  1. wiscochef

    Tim Dahl given the extremely competitive dining scene in Madison (ranks second in the nation with number of restaurants per capita in the US) a breath of fresh air. He brings simplicity, elegance and drive to a city that has long been a mecca for local, fresh cuisine. I am sure that all of the chefs listed are absolutely fabulous and I look forward to many road trips to sample their work in the future.

    April 13, 2011 at 10:24 am |
  2. Jon Cournoyer

    Anthony Devoti is defiantly to be watched. his intuition in pairing creative cuisine with wine has been a very exciting experience for friends, family and myself. Anthony is young, fresh and aware of the selections of food close at hand.

    March 2, 2011 at 11:26 am |
  3. Seegar Man

    I apologize if I offended anyone. My point was that others are taking anonymous blog comments far too seriously.

    March 1, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
  4. James

    if there's been cheating, let them cheat. if people want to recognize chefs for their outstanding efforts in their respective markets, let it happen. Food is the winner here and as a consumer of this delightful art I'm sure the chefs nominated don't want to read some of these despicable comments. All the chefs are winners for being nominated in the first place.
    i don't want Food and Wine to think this was a bad idea after the comments left by a handful of over zealous voters. Once again Food and Wine, congratulations on reaching out

    March 1, 2011 at 12:41 pm |
  5. Flippity Flappaty

    Its not fair.Its not fair.Its not fair. Waaahhh, my puzzy hurts.

    March 1, 2011 at 11:59 am |
  6. Douchebag Extraordinaire

    Brown and Winberg's vote total should be divided by two, as they are two people each able to go out and gather votes. Its not fair.

    March 1, 2011 at 11:52 am |
  7. Seegar Man

    I have plenty to do. Your mom, for example. Burn!

    March 1, 2011 at 11:31 am |
    • Flippity Flappaty

      You do the mother and I'll greaze the old man up over here. Flames!

      March 1, 2011 at 11:58 am |
    • Andrea

      Without elaborating, I will tell you that this is the most hurtful thing you could have written. Unreal. Truly unreal. What people will write behind the anonymity of their computer screens is astonishing.

      March 1, 2011 at 11:59 am |
      • Douchebag Extraordinaire

        Wow. You're a little touchy Andrea. Perhaps you're taking this too seriously.
        Also, I'm taking a poll.

        Summer's Eve
        Equate Douche from Wal-Mart
        Yeast Guard

        Vote today!

        March 1, 2011 at 12:12 pm |
  8. Andrea

    Apparently Seegar Man has nothing better to do today, or actually any other day.

    March 1, 2011 at 11:19 am |
  9. Seegar Man

    As I type, its almost 10:00 am Tuesday. Erik is at less than 30%. Will he auto-his way to the top today?

    March 1, 2011 at 9:53 am |
    • WOW

      ...looks like you got your guy up to 38%...while trying to deflect attention away from the leader....

      March 1, 2011 at 11:09 am |
  10. James

    Lee took a leap of faith when he decided to leave New Orleans and move to state not known for its culinary prowess. What he has done since then is nothing short of a miracle. He has not only woken up a state to the produce they have in their own backyard, he has done it with class. Thank you for opening our eyes to a new experience of dining. i hope you get the recognition for all your hard work while continuing to tell the food story of Arkansas. I vote Lee.
    Thanks Food and Wine for allowing Arkansas to show their appreciation for a job well done

    February 28, 2011 at 9:52 pm |
  11. Martin

    Ashley's is the best place to have a great meal in Little Rock, by a long shot!
    And, Lee, it's mostly because of you – you certainly have my vote.

    February 28, 2011 at 9:33 pm |
  12. Poll isn't legit

    Food & Wine states that: "All votes subject to verification." I see some people are buying into this nonsense. Food & Wine uses the free version of Polldaddy's software and simply does not have access to the data required to perform an audit. These polls are primarily a stomping ground for bored teenagers with too much free time on their hands. The winner is usually the first one to cheat. I'm sure all of these chefs are very talented, but don't take this poll seriously.

    February 28, 2011 at 7:48 pm |
    • Poll isn't legit

      There is one caveat however, and that is if Food & Wine decides to upgrade to a professional account. In which case, the contestant with the most verifiable votes will win.

      February 28, 2011 at 9:40 pm |
  13. Lee

    Since when is Arkansas in the Midwest? #fail

    February 28, 2011 at 5:48 pm |
    • Adriana

      Does Arkansas even have internet access yet?

      February 28, 2011 at 7:19 pm |
  14. Tori Klein


    February 28, 2011 at 11:45 am |
  15. Steve

    How is Arkansas in the midwest?

    February 28, 2011 at 10:49 am |
    • Enough is enough

      Get over it. They put Lee Anderson in a Midwest category. What's done is done. He's a fine chef best of luck to him. If you have nothing good to say just bite your lip for just one more day. Then this will all be over.

      February 28, 2011 at 11:01 am |
  16. Hatim Smouni

    Chef Lee is a southern hidden jewel (well not anymore). He is a great cook and a great person. The food is freshly prepared and very tasty. Buying local, Organic food is a big priority for him which shows in the taste of his food. Wish I could eat there every week. :)
    Cheers Chef Lee and good luck in this contest. You very much deserve to win and thank you for your hard work.

    February 28, 2011 at 10:48 am |
  17. Seegar Man

    Thank you to enough is enough and frances. I agree 100%. I was simply trying to document this in the event that CNN wasn't aware.

    February 28, 2011 at 10:43 am |
  18. Enough is enough

    Stop with all of the accusations. If there is any fraud I'm sure none of these chefs would be part of it. It doesn't matter anyway. Read the note at the bottom of the page. All of the fake votes will be pulled. So whoever ends up winning this will have won fairly regardless of what the current standings are. Best of luck to all of the chefs. We should all be proud that we have such great talent to represent our beloved Midwest.

    February 28, 2011 at 10:31 am |
    • Frances

      Could not agree more! If you have a positive comment to make about the chef you favor, do so.
      If not, don't comment.

      February 28, 2011 at 10:37 am |
  19. Seegar Man

    Wow! Perhaps Erik read my message from yesterday afternoon as I predicted he might. It's now 8:45 am eastern Monday as I leave this. For the first time in a week plus, he didn't run up his numbers massively overnight. Perhaps he knows he's been figured out.

    February 28, 2011 at 8:49 am |
    • Backwards

      If he was running up his numbers, why wouldn't he run them up and win? That's the stupidist thing I've heard of, if you are going to cheat, cheat to win...right? Anyway, the big market guys will win the entire thing anyway; Chicago, New York....

      February 28, 2011 at 11:55 am |
  20. Linda Ray

    One more thing - I'm glad someone mentioned what a good guy Erik is. That may not have as much to do with his cooking as his creativity and commitment and competitiveness do, but I bet it has a lot to do with how he manages people, and while I could be wrong, I'm guessing that has a LOT to do with what comes out of his kitchen. And how many people support him in this poll.

    February 28, 2011 at 3:25 am |
  21. Linda Ray

    Just occurred to me that, depending on how your browser is set up, or if you look at this page via a bookmark, you *might* be looking at a cached copy of the results that's just going to have the same numbers on it until it refreshes on whatever schedule.

    February 28, 2011 at 3:22 am |
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