Food & Wine's The People's Best New Chef 2011: Southeast
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

Joshua Hopkins
The Reynolds Group

Joshua Hopkins
Abattoir - Atlanta, GA

Why he’s amazing: Because his meat-centric cuisine elevates every part of the animal, like in his beef tripe with beef bacon and hominy in cilantro-lime broth.

Kevin Gillespie
Fredrik Brauer

Kevin Gillespie
Woodfire Grill - Atlanta, GA

Cooking philosophy: “We tell the suppliers to bring us whatever is best, and then we write the menu from there. It’s like a jigsaw puzzle.”

Ryan Smith
Sara Dorio

Ryan Smith
Empire State South - Atlanta, GA

Changing menu: The original concept was meat-and-three, where diners chose their sides; Smith changed the menu to reflect the sides and pairings he thought were best for the mains. (But diners are welcome to make substitutions.)

Steven Satterfield
Kelly Blackmon

Steven Satterfield
Miller Union - Atlanta, GA

Secret ingredient: Nutmeg. “I use it in a lot of things where most people use black pepper.”

Billy Allin
Courtesy of Green Olive Media

Billy Allin
Cakes & Ale - Decatur, GA

Why he’s amazing: Because his unpretentious food reveals a mastery of flavors and execution even in the most humble offerings, like deviled eggs.

Bryan Emperor
Courtesy of Kalu

Bryan Emperor
Kalu - Charlotte, NC

Why he’s amazing: Because he used his time abroad to learn the fundamentals of making impeccable, non-Westernized Asian food.

Aaron Vandemark
Courtesy of Panciuto

Aaron Vandemark
Panciuto - Hillsborough, NC

On challenging diners’ tastes: “We do a duck-and-chestnut ravioli in a liver sauce. Sometimes that’s a really hard sell, so I’ll be stubborn and leave it on the menu, because I know it’s good. At a certain point, either my spirit’s broken or it clicks.”

Ryan Trimm
Courtesy of Sweet Grass

Ryan Trimm
Sweet Grass - Memphis, TN

Inspiration: His grandmother, a first generation Italian-American who cooked everything from scratch.

Tandy Wilson
Courtesy of City House

Tandy Wilson
City House - Nashville, TN

Volunteer work: Wilson coordinated the feeding of victims of Nashville’s flood last year and worked with local chefs to raise funds with charity dinners.

Joseph Lenn
Beall and Thomas Photography

Joseph Lenn
The Barn at Blackberry Farm - Walland, TN

Kitchen must-have: A mandoline. “Every single cook that works with me has one at his station.”

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 (82 Responses)
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    January 19, 2013 at 8:47 pm |
  3. Tony

    Jonathan Baltuch is a cheat and scam artist. He cheated 100 people out of their deposits for a cruise and will not return their money. He won't even answer the phone.

    December 29, 2012 at 7:50 pm |
  4. Silani wahlgren

    What is wrong with this picture? 10 chefs and all of them male. FAIL! If this is all you can do I can't support this.

    March 6, 2011 at 11:09 pm |
  5. Nathan Graber


    March 3, 2011 at 8:06 am |
  6. santalandis

    Joseph Lenn's talent is an art, I love watching every meal he makes turn into a master piece.

    March 2, 2011 at 2:00 am |
  7. martine saunier

    Joseph deserves the applause ...amazing southern cooking .

    March 1, 2011 at 11:47 am |
  8. Cowgirl742

    Go Joseph Lenn! He is amazing! cooks Southern, local ingredients, seasonally. His menu changes daily! Great Team Behind him as well!

    March 1, 2011 at 11:17 am |
  9. Tom

    Ryan Trimm is not only a top notch chef he has one of the most fun and entertaining restaurants in Memphis

    His food is great quality at a reasonable cost and he cahnges his menu seasonally

    March 1, 2011 at 11:00 am |
  10. D C Jett

    Joseph Lenn – Great chef, but working in a special place too few have the chance to be exposed to. Get out of the big cities and see what the world has to offer is my advice.

    March 1, 2011 at 8:00 am |
  11. Gee

    "any chef at 2nd rank = a smart cheater"

    February 28, 2011 at 11:50 pm |
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