Top Chef: Chicago star Zoi Antonitsas just landed on one prestigious list. The Season 4 Cheftestant has been named one of Food & Wine magazine's Best New Chefs for 2015.
Zoi, who works at the Westward in Seattle, is being recognized for "her fresh Mediterranean-inspired dishes," including her braised lamb shoulder.
"Visiting my dad's family in Greece, watching my family roast whole lamb and grill octopus," she shared about her most memorable childhood experience. "The smell of those foods really stands out in my mind."
Also winning the 27th annual Best New Chefs award are nine other chefs from across the country. The picks include Jake Bickelhaupt, Jonathan Brooks, Katie Button, Jim Christiansen, Michael Fojtasek & Grae Nonas, Tim Maslow, Ori Menashe, Carlos Salgado and Bryce Shuman.
"Spotting amazing talent and uncovering exciting new trends go hand in hand," Dana Cowin, Food & Wine's editor in chief said in a statement. "This year, we're seeing serious takes on breakfast and lunch from brilliant chefs like Jonathan Brooks at Milktooth in Indianapolis. Plus the taco trend keeps growing, driven by the incredible creativity of chefs like Carlos Salgado at Taco Maria in Costa Mesa, California. Congrats to our immensely talented Best New Chefs 2015, who are shaping the future of food in America."
While Zoi has found success in the world of cooking, as evidenced on her latest accolade, she hasn't given up on one of her other dreams: to be an artist, which is what she would have done if she hadn't become a chef. "I'm an art school dropout," she said. "I still like the idea of maybe doing children's book illustrations someday."
[Source: Food & Wine]