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 his meat-centric cuisine elevates every part of the animal, like in his beef tripe with beef bacon and hominy in cilantro-lime broth.
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.”
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.)
Secret ingredient: Nutmeg. “I use it in a lot of things where most people use black pepper.”
Why he’s amazing: Because his unpretentious food reveals a mastery of flavors and execution even in the most humble offerings, like deviled eggs.
Why he’s amazing: Because he used his time abroad to learn the fundamentals of making impeccable, non-Westernized Asian food.
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.”
Inspiration: His grandmother, a first generation Italian-American who cooked everything from scratch.
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.
Kitchen must-have: A mandoline. “Every single cook that works with me has one at his station.”
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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