Jamie Bissonnette is People's Choice Best New Chef!
It’s been a thrilling two weeks of online voting, and now we have a winner for the People’s Best New Chef
. Hooray for Jamie Bissonnette
, chef at Coppa
in Boston! Bissonnette, with co-owner Ken Oringer
, has created the kind of neighborhood restaurant we all wish we had down the block, albeit one that adds uni to the house-made spaghetti-and-smoked bacon carbonara
This is also a good time to applaud regional winners like Midwest champion Lee Richardson
, chef at Ashley’s at the Capital Hotel
in Little Rock, Arkansas. Richardson created a dedicated website—voteforcheflee.com
—and got American Idol
winner Kris Allen
to campaign for him. (Next time he's on Idol, I'm voting for him.) And then there’s Ricardo Zarate
of L.A.’s Mo-Chica
restaurant, who won the Pacific region thanks in part to a huge showing of national pride from the Peruvian community. And Tim Byres
in Dallas, who threw a big get-out-the-vote party that helped make him the Southwest champion.
Here’s a list of the regional winners (another round of applause). We salute you, and we also salute all 100 chefs in the People’s Best New Chef pool—you can find them here
. We admire you all.
The Regional Champions
New England – Jamie Bissonnette, Coppa, Boston
Mid-Atlantic – Kyle Bailey, Birch & Barley, Washington DC
New York Area – David Felton, Ninety Acres, Peapack-Gladstone, NJ
Southeast – Bryan Emperor, Kalu Asian Kitchen, Charlotte, NC
Gulf Coast – James Lewis, Bettola, Birmingham, AL
Midwest – Lee Richardson, Ashley’s at the Capital Hotel, Little Rock, AR
Southwest – Tim Byres, Smoke, Dallas
Great Lakes – Jose Salazar, The Palace, Cincinnati
Pacific – Ricardo Zarate, Mo-Chica, Los Angeles
Northwest – Jason Franey, Canlis, Seattle
Michel Richard is Coming to Caesars Palace in Vegas.
It’s as if Michel Richard
read my mind. I’m fine eating in Las Vegas
during normal dining hours, but when it gets a little late (and doesn’t it always in Vegas), the options all start closing for the night. But now Michel Richard is opening Central 24/7 in the one-and-only Caesars Palace
in the late summer of 2011. And when it opens, it will be open 24 hours a day, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. Richard will offer many signature items from his Central in Washington, DC
, like his 72-hour short ribs
, fried chicken, razor clam chowder and fresh oysters as well as that renowned burger, plus some new selections still to be announced that I'll definitely be tasting, no matter what time of day or night it is.
© Donnie Miller
Chefs Chris Consentino, Marcus Samuelsson and Aarón Sánchez rock their new kicks.
I adore Mario Batali’s cooking, but still can’t bring myself to embrace Crocs. Finally, a more stylish line of shoes for the professional and home cook has launched. We gave a shout out to Mozo Chef Signature Shoes
in Food & Wine’s March Trendspotting column
. Last night, the chefs-turned-shoe-designers behind the new line were in NYC to give a sneak preview of their designs, which go on sale in May. The ever-so-stylish Marcus Samuelsson
of NYC’s Red Rooster named his shoe the Uptown. The copper detailing around the eyelet is a nod to America's diner culture, while the image of the Brooklyn Bridge on the heel is a shout out to NYC. Aarón Sánchez
of Centrico got a bit more edgy, recreating a Mexican sugar skull in red stitching on the top of his shoe. Chris Cosentino
, who was slicing killer charcuterie that he flew in from his restaurant Boccalone in San Francisco, wins the award for most outrageous design. The top of his shoe (named the Fifth Quarter) resembles honeycomb tripe, and he designed a pig on the footbed that duplicates a tattoo on his arm of a 16th-century butchery diagram. Perhaps the biggest news of the night was that Mozo would donate $10,000 in the chefs’ honor to the Careers Through Culinary Arts Program
© Jason Houston for TEDxManhattan
Chef Michel Nischan
This past Saturday marked the first-ever TEDx Manhattan: Changing the Way We Eat
, a conference devoted to sustainable-food issues. The daylong series of 18-minute talks covered topics ranging from how farmers in Illinois
are dealing with the environmental impact of industrial dairies to how organizations like the Bed-Stuy Campaign Against Hunger
are creating amazingly productive community gardens. Elizabeth Meltz, an exuberant former cook who oversees food safety and sustainability for Mario Batali's restaurant group, talked about the challenge of educating the staff about green practices: "We can barely get them not to throw out the silverware." Michel Nischan of the Dressing Room Restaurant
in Westport, Connecticut, described the efforts of his nonprofit, Wholesome Wave
, to make produce accessible and affordable in poor communities. Food & Wine proudly supports Wholesome Wave, and we're raising money now with these awesome Green Passes
to the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen this June.
American fruit importers Dan Pearson and Brian Horsley were scouting in the Amazon when, on some farms in a tucked-away corner of Peru's Maranón Canyon, they discovered cacao trees with canary-yellow pods. Even the local farmers were mystified about the identity of these strange-looking trees. So Pearson and Horsley sent some leaves to the USDA
for testing and learned they'd made an extraordinary find: the Pure Nacional breed of cacao tree (left), thought to be extinct since the early 1900s. Pearson and Horsley have been experimenting with the pod's unique white beans (most cacao is purple) to create a distinctly mellow, nutty-floral chocolate. Recently, they were at New York's Institute for Culinary Education
to launch Maranón Chocolate
and chat about the discovery of the beans; the bars are now available online
© Jordan Salcito
Daniel Boulud and Michel Troisgros Make Truffled Eggs at Altitude.
If you ever wonder how famous chefs deal with the limitations of airplane food, especially when they're recovering from an epic wine event, here's a firsthand account from my awesome wine-genius friend Jordan Salcito
(whom you’ll read more about in F&W's April feature on Burgundy). Here’s Jordan:
Say you're a chef who has just cooked for the 10th anniversary of La Paulée de New York
which honors the best domaines in Burgundy with both new and very old vintages (like 1940 La Tâche). And say you’re in a private plane on your way to La Paulée des Neiges in Aspen
to (ski and) drink more wines. How do you re-energize? If you're Daniel Boulud
, the featured chef for La Paulée de New York, and you're France's inimitable Michel Troisgros
, you make 30-second scrambled eggs in the plane's microwave: custardy, truffled scrambled eggs with crème fraîche, plus toast with European butter and more black truffle. And then open another bottle of La Tâche.
© Kana Okada
A Mariah Carey pregnancy food favorite: Pork chops
Being pregnant with twins seems to have grounded singer Mariah Carey, who at one point reportedly ate a diet of only purple foods
She’s giving in to her pregnancy cravings by cooking and eating comfort foods like “smothered pork chops
, collard greens
, red beans and rice
and pecan pie
with homemade whipped cream,” says her husband, Nick Cannon, in an interview
with People magazine.
Check out more super-satisfying recipes in our Southern Comfort Food slideshow
Inside H&F Bottle Shop in Atlanta.
It's not hard to figure out what Atlanta's H&F Bottle Shop
will be selling when it opens soon (as in, hopefully, February 21). The store will offer boutique wines and spirits that customers love at Holeman & Finch
and Restaurant Eugene
, but can’t find anywhere else—items like the house-blended Finch’s gin. Look for in-house wine concierge Ashley Hall, a Kermit Lynch alum, who can do anything from choosing a bottle for a dinner party to building a wine cellar. In the spirit of an apothecary, which the space evokes, the Bottle Shop
will also have old-time card catalogues holding wine information and favorite cocktail recipes—maybe chef Linton Hopkin
's DCV, a Sidecar like drink you'll also find in the upcoming F&W Cocktails 2011
. (You’ll also be able to buy the house-made brandied cherries that garnish the drink, as well as other condiments and H&F's amazing Bloody Mary mix.) And if you come prepared with a cocktail-inspired playlist, the staff might let you play with the albums and turntable in the back of the store.
Here it is: For those of us who can't even wait for Michael Voltaggio's
restaurant ink. to open on Melrose in Los Angeles, this is the official logo. You'll see it echoed in the splashes of dark 'ink' on the gray granite floor, on the signature on the back of his custom-made plates (designed to jibe with the look of the room; you can't tell it used to be the Hamasaku space) and, of course, in his modern L.A. menu.
I'm so excited.