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.
© South Beach Wine & Food Festival.
Marc Murphy and his winning Big Marc burgers
Judging the South Beach Wine & Food Festival Burger Bash
isn’t easy. You have to taste a million burgers (or in this case, about 25), you have to choose among a lot of great options and you have to be prepared to have a serious stomachache afterwards. What almost never happens is that the winning burger is the last one you taste (you’re already way past burger overload). But at this year's Bash that’s exactly what happened to me and my fellow judges—including Art Smith
and Alex Guarnaschelli
—with Marc Murphy
’s “Big Marc.” His juicy, gorgeously charred burger was made with beef from Allen Brothers, topped with bread & butter pickles
and spiked ketchup and served on a grilled house-made cheddar-and-black-pepper bun. Alongside, he served killer jalapeño-cheddar tater tots. “Never made the burger before,” says Murphy. “I was concerned with feeding 3,000 people and thought that by adding the cheese to the bun, I'd eliminate a step and feed everyone more quickly.”
Here’s good news for everyone who wants to taste the Big Marc. Murphy got so many requests for the burger after his win that he’s added it and the tater tots to the menu
at his Landmarc
and Ditch Plains
restaurants. Yes, that includes the Ditch Plains that's opening on Manhattan’s Upper West Side tonight. It's a great opportunity to judge the Big Marc for yourself.
Michael and Bryan Voltaggio get schooled on Memphis's Rendezvous ribs.
I just spent a frenzied few hours in St. Louis eating as much barbecue
as possible (more on that in an upcoming post). But I've got nothing on Bryan
and Michael Voltaggio
, who are in the midst of a five-day, multi-city barbecue free-for-all with Williams-Sonoma
to educate themselves on the subject.
Here are two of their highlights. If you want to make yourselves hungry, you should follow both Michael
Oklahoma Joe's; Kansas City, KS
Michael and Bryan Voltaggio with a Barbecue Hangover.
Michael says: "Kansas City is like the barbecue melting pot. In Texas, it's all about beef, and in North Carolina, there's a lot of pulled pork. But Kansas City is famous for everything. At Oklahoma Joe's, it's all about the Z-man sandwich: slow-smoked brisket piled high on a toasted kaiser bun, with a few onion rings, toasted provolone and a couple drops of sauce. This place is on Tony Bourdain
's list of 13 things to eat before you die
."Smitty's Market; Lockhart, TX
Bryan says: "I'm more into traditional brisket than my brother; I go for the kind served with white bread. I had the most amazing brisket I’ve ever had at Smitty's. It’s smoked old pit-style; the walls are covered with smoke. I had it with Big Red
, a soda from the area, and Blue Bell ice cream
. And p.s., Lockhart Texas was named barbecue capital of Texas
by the state's legislation.”