Jason Stratton of Spinasse One of Food & Wine Magazine's Best New Chefs 2010"/>
Yesterday, I wrote about the news that not one, but two of Seattle's most famous (if not most beloved) restaurants had made it onto the Restaurants & Institutions list of top 100 independent restaurants--a run-down judged solely on the amount of money places bring in over a single year.
Seattle, meet one of the ten Best New Chefs in America
And now today, word has come down of another Seattle chef making a very different kind of list. This afternoon, at the Four Seasons in New York, Food & Wine magazine announced the picks for its annual Best New Chefs issue, and who should be on that list but our own Jason Stratton of Spinasse.
The Best New Chefs list has, historically, been a big deal--a kind of bellwether for showing not only who is going to be hot in the coming years, but also what and where. I mean, F&W has tagged some pretty good names in the past. Thomas Keller of the French Laundry, Daniel Boulud, Tom Colicchio and David Chang of Momofuku? Yeah, god knows those idiots never went anywhere...
This year, Stratton will stand (on both the cover of the upcoming Best New Chefs issue of F&W and at the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen) alongside nine other winners, including Matt Lightner from Castagna in Portland, Mike Sheerin from Blackbird in Chicago, Alex Seidel of Fruition in Denver and Roy Choi of the Kogi BBQ truck in Los Angeles. But he's also got some serious talent behind him.
Over the years, the Seattle area has had something of a lock on the F&W list. We have winners going back all the way to 1988 (the first year F&W made their list, when Gordon Naccarato of the Pacific Grill in Tacoma got the nod), and have rarely missed a year. Recently, it's been Mark Fuller taking it in 2009, Ethan Stowell in 2008 (with one of the best portraits of the year), Matt Dillon in 2007, Jason Wilson in 2006 and Maria Hines in 2005. Matter of fact, Seattle hasn't missed a year since 2004.
And thanks to Stratton, we now have kept our streak going. So congrats to you, man. And congrats to all the staff at Spinasse. This is a huge honor, and you've done the city and yourself proud.
Oh, and by the way, Jason? This doesn't mean you're off the hook for the Voracious Tasting Chef Showdown on April 14. Now I'm just double-excited to see what you can do up on stage in front of a thousand of your biggest fans...