St. Louis Chefs Fall Short in Food & Wine Vote


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As seemed likely since early last week, all three St. Louis chefs competing to be named the "People's Best New Chef" by Food & Wine magazine fell short of being named a finalist for the Midwest region when voting closed yesterday.

Lee Richardson of Ashley's at the Capital Hotel in Little Rock won the Midwest region with 38.07% of the vote.

Josh Galliano of Monarch had the best showing of the three St. Louis chefs, finishing third of ten with 7.25%. Anthony Devoti of Five Bistro received 2.73% and Kevin Willmann of Farmhaus notched 2.7%.

Jamie Bissonnette of Coppa in Boston won the most votes of all 100 chefs across ten regions and is the "People's Best New Chef" winner.

While it would have been terrific had one of our chefs won the Midwest region, I don't think we should view this result as a disappointment. In the long run, that three local chefs were included among the nominees -- and had profiles posted on the Food & Wine website -- will benefit the St. Louis restaurant scene.

Those hoping for national attention for our chefs won't have to wait long for the next opportunity. On Monday, March 21, the James Beard Foundation will announce the finalists for its annual awards.

Willmann, Kevin Nashan of Sidney Street Café and Gerard Craft of Niche are semifinalists in the "Best Chef: Midwest" category. (Craft was a finalist in this category in 2009 and 2010.) Also, Glenn Bardgett, wine director at Annie Gunn's, is a semifinalist in the "Outstanding Wine Service" category.

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