Food & Wine magazine announced nominations for 2013’s People’s Best New Chef Award and five -- count 'em five! -- Top Chef alums have scored coveted nominations, which can be voted for online from now until March 18th. Here’s a rundown of the newest honorees:
For the Gulf Coast area, Season 5 alum Jeff McInnis scored a nom for his Miami Beach restaurant, Yardbird Southern Table & Bar. Chef Jeff opened the eatery in 2011 after departing the DeLido Beach Club at the Ritz Carlton.
In the uber-competitive New York region, kitchen king Dale Talde made the Best New Chef race for his Brooklyn Asian-American outpost, Talde. He starred on Top Chef back in Season 4, when he repped the famous New York hotspot Buddakan.
For the Northwest region, Sheldon Simeon and his restaurant Star Noodle garnered a “Best New Chef” nom -- his second year in a row! One of Top Chef's most recent alums, Sheldon is also a two-time James Beard semifinalist!
Top Chef Season 7 winner Kevin Sbraga scored a nom in the mid-Atlantic region for his Philadelphia restaurant, Sbraga. He opened the modern American restaurant back in 2011. The part-Italian, part African American chef once described himself as the “Barack Obama of the cooking game,” so it’ll be interesting to see if F&W feels the same way.
Last but certainly not least is West Coast nominee Michael Voltaggio. Michael, who came out on top during season 6 of Top Chef, got a nom for his Los Angeles restaurant ink. Voltaggio is certainly not low on acclaim; Judge Tom Colicchio told Los Angeles magazine that Michael was the best chef to ever grace the show, and GQ magazine previously named ink. one of the top ten best new restaurants in the entire country.
Stay tuned to see the competition heat up, and of course, don’t forget to vote for your favorite Top Chef HERE.