Location: Louisville, KY
Why She's Amazing: Because without ever even visiting Louisville, she left San Francisco to cook at Decca, where she's adding global flavors (like saffron and marcona almonds) to local ingredients (like sweet potatoes and Marksbury Farm Market beef).
Culinary School: The French Culinary Institute (New York City)
Background: The Moss Room (San Francisco); Savoy, The Admiral (Asheville, NC); Quality Meats (New York City)
Quintessential Dish: Seared walleye with butternut squash and ras el hanout
What Drew Her to the Kitchen: "I grew up cooking with my parents, so it was ingrained from an early age. They had a trout pond and grew shiitake mushrooms. They were kind of hippie but we did all sorts of stuff."
Her Favorite Dish at Decca: Linguine nero with sea urchin
Competitive Cooking: Pettry and her team from Decca recently won the top prize for the best barbecue at Cochon 555 in Louisville. The traveling contest, which requires chefs to cook an entire pig, snout to tail, is part of a 17-city tour aimed at educating people about small farms and heritage pig breeds.
What She Named Her Winning Pig: Rita
Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.