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!
Why he's amazing: Because he presents thrilling combinations of ingredients inspired by Italy but sourced, almost obsessively, locally. (The restaurant has a rooftop garden and a studio for Heritage Radio Network, which airs programs from urban foragers and farmers.)
What he told the restaurant principals: "You’re building my dream restaurant. Even if I were a dishwasher, I would want to be here."
The routine: Ramirez cooks five nights a week for just 18 people at a horseshoe-shaped, stainless steel table in his kitchen.
Best known for: Being co-founder of Hudson Valley Foie Gras and co-author of Foie Gras: A Passion.
Superstition: He tapes a penny to his knife sheaths for good luck, a US Army superstition he picked up from his father.
Why home chefs should try cooking sous vide: "Cooking is a science. It’s evolving, and we’re taking advantage of modern-day technology."
On her restaurant’s proximity to Chinatown: "We get a lot of older Chinese people from the neighborhood looking in and giving us their nod of approval. Or sometimes just shaking their head and walking away. Or crazy people fighting over dumplings."
Why they insist on domestic ingredients: Says Carbone, "In Italy, they would never use imported cheese you have to send away for. Using what’s around you is the most Italian thing you could possibly do."
His initial reaction when Momofuku and Má Pêche owner David Chang suggested he cook at Má Pêche: "I was like, 'F- you, dude. I’m not going back to midtown.' I mean, the mentality is so different. I think we could get away with a lot more downtown than anywhere else."
On his ingredient wish list: "Veal brains. I think it would be fun to do a play on some kind of classic Italian-American dish with veal brains. But I think it would be a hard sell."
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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