People's Best New Chef Announced by Food & Wine (and a Runner-Up Day for Seattle)"/>
This year's Food & Wine magazine run-off for Best New Chef came with an unusual wrinkle: In addition to the traditional 10 picks made by the editors, they opened up an 11th slot for "The People's Best New Chef" who, obviously, was going to be chosen by you, The People in question.
Along with the announcement of this new move towards democracy came word that several Seattle area chefs had been thrown into the running for the award, including Jason Franey from Canlis, Dana Tough and Brian McCracken from Spur, Shaun McCrain from the Book Bindery, and Blaine Wetzel from the Willows Inn. And while some of the chefs did very little to shill for themselves (the boys from Spur didn't do much more than exhort their loyalists to vote with a little chalkboard pimping at Tavern Law, for example), the Canlis brothers just went plum loco in the attempt to get Franey chosen as The People's fave--taking it to the streets with a series of staged events in support of Franey which took them everywhere from Pike Place Market to the top of the Space Needle.
And you know what? It kinda worked for them.
The winner of the People's Best New Chef was announced this morning: Jamie Bissonnette of Coppa in Boston. He got the most votes overall in the online poll that F&W has been running for the last couple weeks.
But in addition to the big winner, F&W also announced each of the regional winners, and guess what? Jason Franey from Canlis took the Northwest category handily, standing as our official runner-up.
All in all, that ain't too bad. And since all of The People's winners (and also-rans) are still eligible for making the old-fashioned editor's list of the 10 best new chefs, things might still go our way when the big list comes out.
You can check out the full list of winners and losers right here on the F&W website. And for some photographic proof of the lengths to which the Canlis brothers are willing to go for one of their own, you've just got to check out the Canlis Facebook page. Personally, I think some of those snaps are incredible.
Oh, and while you're at it, why not bounce on over to Twitter and follow me, too? You can find me at @Jason_Sheehan.