I just got a press release from Food & Wine Magazine announcing the 2008 winners of their coveted “Best New Chef” recognition. Of course, I’m always thrilled when Seattle chefs gain recognition nationally. An ovation goes out to Ethan Stowell, chef/owner of Union, Tavolata and the new How to Cook a Wolf for being so honored this year. Woo-hoo!!!
The ten winners are being fêted tonight in New York City. That explains why Ethan could so easily make an appearance on today’s episode of Today (as I learned from Nancy Leson’s blog this morning, too late to try to catch the spot). Sorry to say that I haven’t been to any of the other award-winners. But I can try to make it to Gautreau’s in New Orleans in a couple of weeks to sample some of Sue Zemanick’s creations.
Past F&W “Best New” winners in our neighborhood include Jason Wilson at Crush (2006), John Sundstom at Lark (2001), and Maria Hines at Tilth (2005). And we’ve inherited a couple: Danielle Custer won in 1998 while she was cooking in Dallas (she’s now general manager at Taste at SAM) and new chef at The Herbfarm, Keith Luce, won in 1997 while in Chicago at Spruce.
Oh, and just to keep the kudos coming, I’m late in sending out three cheers to Maria for her inclusion on Frank Bruni’s recent list of ten “Intriguing New Restaurants Outside of New York” in The New York Times. Outstanding news, bravo Maria! I have been to one other on that list, Central, which I reported about in an earlier post about our trip to DC (keyword: banana split). And one I will definitely be visiting on my New Orleans trip: Cochon. So excited about that dinner, gathering with a number of IACP friends before the big conference begins mid month.