This year Food & Wine expanded its annual Best New Chef awards to create a new award called The People's Best New Chef. The editors named 10 chefs in each of the ten regions they cover and invited readers to vote on their favorite candidate. Voting ended yesterday, and regional winner for the New York area is...(drum roll)...David Felton! Haven't heard of Felton? Well he's the chef at Ninety Acres, the restaurant and farm complex in New Jersey owned by Virgin Group tycoon Richard Branson. He beat out chefs George Mendes, Tien Ho, Emma Hearst, Dan Kluger, Carlo Mirarchi, Michael Ginor, César Ramirez, Gabe Thompson, and Mario Carbone and Rich Torrisi. Apparently, none of those chefs had multinational corporations helping them get out the vote. (We kid.)
Though Felton was New York's regional winner, Boston chef Jamie Bissonnette had the most overall votes and is thus crowned the national People's Best New Chef. All of the named chefs are still eligible for an old fashioned, editor-chosen Best New Chef award. And chances are, at least one of our nominees will get it.
· People's Best New Chef [F&W]
· A Look at What is Basically the Short List for Best New Chef [~ENY~]