Food & Wine's The People's Best New Chef 2011: New England
February 15th, 2011
02:30 AM ET
Share this on:

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

Kara Brooks
Courtesy of Still River Café

Kara Brooks
Still River Café - Eastford, CT

Cooking philosophy: “We emphasize what we grow, when we’re growing it, and try to present it in fun, innovative ways. It’s not cooking as trickery, but at the same time there should be some fun in it.”

Joel Viehland
Courtesy of Community Table

Joel Viehland
Community Table - Washington, CT

Why he opened a restaurant in rural Connecticut: “A normal restaurant has three or four suppliers. I want to source as much locally as possible, so I have 35 to 40 vendors I work with.”

Christopher Coombs
Kevin Day Photography

Christopher Coombs
Deuxave - Boston, MA

His kitchen strategy: “I’m super-obsessive-compulsive when cooking: Everything’s organized and labeled. If you’re sloppy and messy, you won’t last a month in this business.”

Jamie Bissonnette
Courtesy of Coppa

Jamie Bissonnette
Coppa - Boston, MA

Why he’s amazing: Because he’s not afraid to challenge diners’ palates with the daring nose-to-tail cooking (including calf’s-brain ravioli and blood-sausage pepperoni on pizza) at his intimate enoteca.

Joseph Margate
The Liberty Hotel

Joseph Margate
Clink - Boston, MA

Why he’s amazing: Because he creates irresistible, umami-rich food with a modern French bent that goes beyond standard hotel cuisine.

Robert Sisca
Courtesy of Bistro du Midi

Robert Sisca
Bistro du Midi - Boston, MA

Favorite food to eat at home: Grilled cheese with pepperoni.

Gerard Barbin
Courtesy of Sensing

Gerard Barbin
Sensing - Boston, MA

Why he likes Boston: “Boston is a welcoming city with a strong identity. There are a lot of good restaurants and chefs, and a lot of strong areas for dining, like the North End, Back Bay, South End, Cambridge. The fish and seafood quality in Boston is phenomenal.”

Geoffroy Deconinck
Irvin Serrano

Geoffroy Deconinck
Natalie's - Camden, ME

Why he’s amazing: Because he uses his traditional Belgian pedigree to modernize French food.

Jake Rojas
Courtesy of Tallulah on Thames

Jake Rojas
Tallulah on Thames - Newport, RI

Must-try dish: “Deconstructed clam chowdah”: clams, potatoes and bacon with creamy broth poured tableside.

Nemo Bolin
Courtesy of Rhode Island Monthly

Nemo Bolin
Cook & Brown Public House - Providence, RI

Why he wanted to open a restaurant: “[My wife and I] live to hear that unmistakable sigh when someone takes the first bite of their meal and just melts into their chair.”

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.

Posted by:
Filed under: Best New Chef 2011 • Content Partner • Food and Wine

soundoff (186 Responses)
  1. jack

    or you like this

    October 2, 2014 at 10:16 am |
  2. jack so you like this?

    October 2, 2014 at 10:15 am |
  3. jack let me see if it works.

    October 2, 2014 at 10:15 am |
  4. jack so what happened?

    October 2, 2014 at 10:13 am |
  5. jack

    nothing here

    October 2, 2014 at 10:09 am |
  6. jack


    October 2, 2014 at 10:06 am |
  7. jack


    October 2, 2014 at 10:02 am |
  8. jack

    very nice article

    October 2, 2014 at 9:53 am |
  9. Joan

    And, Jamie Bissonette is not only a nice guy, but he is the most awesome chef in Boston. He has really knocked Boston, notorious for its lousy food reputation, which is well-earned, several notches. Thank you Jamie, and congrats! You deserved to win! Sorry I didn't vote for you, but I didn't know about this.

    October 11, 2013 at 12:55 pm |
  10. Henry W.

    CNN clearly states this above:

    "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."

    Enough with the sore losers crying all over this post ignorantly accusing chefs of cheating. You're giving the Boston restaurant industry a very bad name by posting such immature posts. You should really think about the words that you write before you click "post".

    Congratulations to the winner and to all who were nominated. It's unfortunate that the chefs nominated have to have all of these pointless posts full of negativity and bitterness attached to something that should be nothing but a celebration of their talent and skill. You all should be proud of yourselves and your work that CNN and F&W recognized you and nominated you!

    Remember: If you don't have haters... you're doing it wrong.

    Congratulations Chef Jamie Bissonnette!

    March 2, 2011 at 11:08 am |
  11. Evelyne SIMONIN

    For Gerard Barbin

    March 2, 2011 at 8:11 am |
  12. Kindergarten Teacher

    After reading all of the negative comments regarding these very talented chefs, I can actually state that my kindergarten students show more maturity !! Everyone is entitled to their opinion. Being critical of ones food is fine, but attacking ones character, that is just unacceptable!!

    March 1, 2011 at 4:50 pm |
  13. Marcus Gavius Apicius

    I am happy to hear today that American Express is well aware was is going on. The new tag line says it all and I hope the punishment fits the crime.

    "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."

    March 1, 2011 at 4:40 pm |
  14. F

    Jamie – you are a fucking idiot))

    March 1, 2011 at 2:37 pm |
    • Marcus Gavius Apicius

      Shame on you for posting this. Jamie is a really a good Chef and a very nice guy. It is his friends and others around him that are the idiots They have no clue they are doing him more harm than good him than good. I'm glad they are not my friends.

      March 1, 2011 at 4:46 pm |
  15. M. Other

    How on earth did Jamie get up to 51% in a matter of hours? I sincerely doubt this voting mechanism is capable of detecting and discarding the fraudulent votes he's no doubt programmatically amassed. If it is, is sure isn't being communicated to us, the community responsible for casting these votes. This is hardly the way to harness the power of social polling to empower your readers and followers to recognize their local talent. If anything, it's a strong dissuasion from us even considering that any "award" you "bestow" is remotely "legitimate."

    Really, CNN? You're going to bestow awards based on some chintzy freeware polling program that any 15 year old can add to their Facebook page?

    For shame!

    March 1, 2011 at 9:51 am |
    • Anonymous

      Do you people understand how polls work at all?

      I bet you are the same people who CRY the refs cheated your football team huh? It's time to grow up and quit being vags about losing. Sometimes you lose! Sometimes, it has nothing to do with the Refs, and the Umps, and the Chefs....

      So shut the hell up.

      March 1, 2011 at 12:32 pm |
    • Conor Dennehy

      Maybe you should go back to highschool and learn how percentages work. One goes up, the others must go down. Maybe the jump in voting has to do with the 400 or so people that were at the burger bash last night that could have potentially voted for Jamie or maybe it was the several hundred links I sent to friends on Facebook. I'm sure that American express knows how to verify votes. I don't think anyone cheated at all. Coombs and Bissonette are both in a major metropolitan area and have had several weeks to put the word out. Good luck to everyone and I hope that the rest of you can grow up and realize that it's not about you. It's about these uber talented chefs that were nominated.

      March 1, 2011 at 2:41 pm |
      • george zimmer

        So all your friends voted right? And all the people at the burger bash did too? You're talking about a change of about 5 percent. The 500 to 1000 people (suddenly voting in a 3 hour time frame is, highly unlikely) and not close to 5 percent of the total votes as it's in a "major metropolitan area."

        March 1, 2011 at 3:10 pm |
      • Conor Dennehy

        George, you are a moron. How could you possibly know what one vote counts as in terms of percentage. Not to mention, you proved my point. If his votes went up by 5% then coombs' would've gone down by that much creating a deficit of 10%. If you'd like, I can send you a link to a couple of my little cousins math tutors. He's 11 so I'm pretty sure that you two are on par with each other. Also, I say, "major metropolitan area", because, not all of the restaurants nominated are in major cities. Next time you'd like to question the intelligence of someone, make sure that you're smarter than them or you at least know what you're talking about. I bid you adieu good sir.

        March 2, 2011 at 1:00 am |
      • george zimmer

        Connor- one percentage point is probably around 250 votes (rough estimate on the number of votes based on the time the poll has been open and how much percentages changed). Next time you want to be a douche, use it to clean that sand out of your vagina. Go back to playing shirtless with your retarded little cousin you mouth breather.

        March 2, 2011 at 12:12 pm |
      • Anonymous

        Woohoo for Jamie right guys?!?! I'm glad I could be part of the "push" for him winning~

        March 3, 2011 at 7:07 am |
    • Marcus Gavius Apicius

      Do not worry they are very much aware of this.

      March 1, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
  16. Jay Leong

    Jamie gets all his votes at night. Last night, we went up about 13%. He is a cheater, which I suppose is a requirement when you are a poor chef. Jamie, this will come back to haunt you, I promise. Sleep tight sweetie.

    March 1, 2011 at 6:59 am |
  17. Marcus Gavius Apicius

    Just looking the comments on this board it looks like winning this going to be a curse.. I would never admit I won this and double lock my doors at night.
    Some post show that many who have commented here should spend less money eating out and more on mental health care or do the rooms at McLeans come with WIFI.

    February 28, 2011 at 11:58 pm |
  18. Tim

    Chris Coombs is a corky young chef and probably least talent among all. You need to google his food/dishes or eat at his restaurants. At his new place, he has a good chef who used to work at Radius helping him. Ask people in industry how terrible his food are at both restaurants. There are many good chefs out there not even being considered? I am in shock that he is even doing well in this voting. Very shock ! This will be the worst joke in New England's culinary history which includes great chefs;Lydia Shire, Jasper White, Barbara Lynch, Ken Oringer, Michael Schlow, Sam Hayward, Melissa Kelly, Anna Sortun, Tony Maws, and etc.

    February 28, 2011 at 1:29 pm |
    • Marcus Gavius Apicius

      I'm sorry my friend, the Chefs you listed all have large PR budgets with the exception of Lydia. It isn't how good your food is, it's how good your PR firm is.
      Eat at Raymond Blanc's ,Le Manoir aux Quat' Saisons ,in Milton England, Alan Ducasse's Le LouisXV, Hotel de Paris Monte Carlo, Marc Haeberlin's L'Auberge de L'ill, Illhaeusern France orJoel Robuchon's L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon, Paris and you will know what good food is.

      February 28, 2011 at 8:15 pm |
    • Lynne

      Obviously you know nothing about Chef Coombs!

      March 1, 2011 at 11:01 am |
      • Joan

        I am sorry, but if you are going to give your restaurant a fancy and pretentious French name you should at least know how to pronouce it! Chris Coombs corrects you if you pronounce his restaurant correctly and I think that speaks volumes of his arrogance and overweening ego. Well, he is young. I hope he gets over it. FYI–it isn't pronounced duh-av in French. It is pronounced Duhz-Av, because in French "x" and all other consonants are pronounced when they come before a vowel. Didn't he take French 101 at the CIA? Duhz-Av, as in "J'ai deux amours" (duhz-amor) the old Josephine Baker song, you know, which Madeleine Peyroux redid in her first album. Jeez. Just call your restaurant Two Avenues so all the dumbasses can pronounce it.

        October 11, 2013 at 12:51 pm |
  19. Greg

    Shocked at how well Coombs is doing given how badly his restaurant has been panned.

    February 28, 2011 at 9:43 am |
    • Keil Smith

      Actually both major newspapers gave his restaurant glowing reviews. Since there are only two newspapers that review food in Boston, I think you're making this up.

      February 28, 2011 at 5:59 pm |
      • Freddy

        I do not believe a 1 star review is glowing, but who reads the Phoenix. The rest of his reviews are only ok at best, none of the publications are really raving about his food. I would want that form some one that is going to represent New England.

        February 28, 2011 at 9:55 pm |
      • Greg

        Neither the Globe nor the Herald employ credible critics. That much is well known. I was referring to Corby Kummer's review in Boston Magazine. Like him or hate him, he's at least earned some measure of respect in his field.

        March 1, 2011 at 9:19 am |
      • Greg


        March 1, 2011 at 9:26 am |
    • Lynne


      March 1, 2011 at 11:04 am |
1 2 3
| Part of

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 9,974 other followers