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Amanda Lydon

Why Because she endows bistro food with an element of surprise.

Born Washington, DC, 1971.

Education Le Cordon Bleu, Paris.

Experience Chez Henri in Cambridge, MA, and Radius in Boston.

Early food memory Lydon spent summers in Nantucket next door to a family of fishermen. "They used to hand us their extra fish or soft-shell crabs over the fence."

First thing cooked Lobster-body soup. "We’d use the carcasses after we’d eaten the meat from the tails and claws. Now it seems idyllic; then it was kind of torturous."

Favorite after-work meal Chicken livers from Franklin Cafe in Boston. "Totally toxic, but totally delicious."

What she’d be if she weren’t a chef A Red Sox pitching scout, preferably stationed in the Dominican Republic.

Pet peeve "If I see the word ’flight’ on one more menu, I’m going to throw something."

Favorite kitchen tool An ice cream machine salvaged from the Nantucket dump.

How she gets to work Bus.

Favorite food writer M.F.K. Fisher. "She reminds me that food should be simple and wonderful, but a little strange too."

Vices An after-work Krispy Kreme doughnut dégustation.

Won Best New Chef at: Truc, Boston (closed)

8 recipes by Chef Amanda Lydon
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Congratulations to Nicholas Elmi, winner of Top Chef: New Orleans, the 11th season of Bravo's Emmy-Award winning, hit reality series.

Already looking forward to next year (June 19-21, 2015)? Relive your favorite moments from the culinary world's most sensational weekend in the Rocky Mountains.