Food & Wine’s Best New Chefs 2015: Book a Table

Food & Wine magazine recently announced its annual roster of Best New Chefs of 2015. The honorees represent chefs who have been running a kitchen for less than five years and who are winning fans and attention in their culinary communities. A few commonalities among the winners, according to Food & Wine Editor in Chief Dana Cowin, include nods to the past and a highly personal aspect to their cooking. “The chefs seem to be cooking to please themselves, and in the process have dazzled diners,” Cowin told CNN. The standout chefs include:

Chef Zoi Antonitsas, Westward, Seattle, Washington

Résumé: Chef Antonitsas may be familiar to diners outside the Seattle area because of her turn as a cheftestant on season 4 of Top Chef. Formerly the executive chef at Madison Park Conservatory in Seattle, Antonitsas worked at  Zazu Kitchen + Farm in Sebastapol, and the Presidio Social Club in San Francisco before opening Westward in the fall of 2013 and bringing her unique blend of Mediterranean-meets-Pacific Northwest cuisine to the shores of Lake Union. She also served as a consultant for nopa.
Rave review for her food: “The food — ah! The food was amazing! I loved that everything was so simple, yet so delicious — how food should be. The presentation was impeccable.”
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PFE - chef katie button panuelo de chocolate - 5.2011Chef Katie Button, Cúrate, Asheville, North Carolina

Résumé: Scientist-cum-chef Button opened Cúrate in 2011 after mastering her culinary craft at Spain’s legendary El Bulli. Later stints include Jean-Georges in New York and The Bazaar by José Andrés in Beverly Hills. She also opened the bar Nightbell, and is penning her first cookbook. Cúrate has been named a Top 100 Best Restaurant in America in 2013 and a Top 100 Fit for Foodies Restaurant in 2014 by OpenTable diners.
Rave review for her food: “The quality of the food was outstanding. I have been to Spain multiple times and this was like being there, from the food to the wine to the unhurried pace of the meal.”
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Chef Jim Christiansen, Heyday, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Résumé: His experience may be primarily rooted in the midwest, but chef Christiansen found his inspiration abroad as well, namely in the cuisine of Copenhagen’s renowned noma, at which he staged. After spending time in the kitchens of La Belle Vie and UNION Rooftop Restaurant in the Twin Cities, Christiansen opened Heyday to acclaim in April 2014.
Rave review for his food: “The kitchen obviously knows their stuff and the chef is inspired from start to finish. With baked goods done in house, everything is super fresh and innovative without being inaccessible. We were so happy with our food and our server; it couldn’t have been better.”
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Chef Tim Maslow, Ribelle, Boston, Massachusetts

Résumé: Chef Maslow is well known to Boston foodies, having first wowed diners when he revamped the menu at his father Paul’s aging Watertown restaurant Strip-T’s. Previously, he honed his skills within the Momofuku family of restaurants in Manhattan, rising to chef de cuisine of Momofuku Ssam Bar. He opened Ribelle in March of 2013 and received four stars from the Boston Globe a little more than half a year later.
Rave review for his food: “Whenever I get a chance to stop by Ribelle, I again realize that Tim is at the very top of the list of the best chefs in the Boston area. As a foodie, I love this place.”
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Thanksgiving Restaurant Reservations: Last Minute Deals + Offers

tday deals blogIt’s Tuesday and Thanksgiving is Thursday (!), but it’s not too late to find the perfect table for your celebration. Honestly! Just visit our local Thanksgiving pages to find details on special menus, pricing, and additional offers — and book your reservation. To pique your interest, we’ve rounded up a sampling of offers, from value-driven to extravagant, as well those that are a bit different. 

Atlanta:
A bit less: Flat Creek Lodge — Kids eat for just $12 (and adults for $28) at this extensive and affordable Thanksgiving Day buffet.
A bit more: Southern Art — For $67 per person, diners can tuck into a full brunch buffet featuring Southern Art specialties, Thanksgiving carving stations, and a briny seafood display.
A bit different: Rosa Mexicano — Serving Thanksgiving with a festive Mexican twist, Rosa Mexicano has slow-roasted Yucatan turkey and turkey enchiladas topped with cranberry-orange salsa on the menu.

Boston:
A bit less: Seasons 52 — A tasty Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings is yours for just $26.95 for adults and $12.95 for kids.
A bit more: Rialto — Treat yourself to a sumptuous dinner at this Boston favorite. $120 for dinner with wine pairings. Children under 12 dine for $35.
A bit different: Grill 23 & Bar — In addition to the regular menu, this restaurant has an awesome offbeat take on a four-course Thanksgiving dinner for $72, which includes sweet potato chowder, Little Gem Caesar salad, coffee-brined turkey, and pumpkin brûlée.

Los Angeles:
A bit less: The Stinking Rose — Get four-courses of garlicky goodness at this traditional Thanksgiving dinner for $34.95. Plus, enjoy no corkage.
A bit more: Mr. C Beverly Hills — Sup on all of your Thanksgiving favorites with elegant accompaniments, including lobster bisque, butternut squash ravioli, chestnut stuffing, and more for $85 per person.
A bit different: AKASHA — You’ll be thankful for their annual pie buffet for dessert alone. Plus, fish and vegan options are available and it’s just$65 for adults and $35 for kids under 12.

Miami:
A bit less: Prime-Del Ray Beach — Have your turkey and eat it, too, for just $24.95 at this traditional, three-course Thanksgiving feast.
A bit more: Bistro One LR-Ritz Carlton — There’s something for everyone with a raw bar, tapas, grill, desserts, and more, plus unlimited Champagne and mimosas from 2-8PM. $125 for adults and $45 for kids.
A bit different: The Bazaar by José Andrés at SLS Hotel South Beach — Celebrate Thanksgiving this year through the culinary vision of José Andrés with distinct dishes such as sous vide breast, confit leg with traditional gravy, or a deconstructed pumpkin pie.

Minneapolis:
A bit less: Mallard’s on the St. Croix — For $23.95, diners get a traditional Thanksgiving dinner served family style, with turkey, ham, and all the side dishes, plus a dessert bar. And, every seat has a lovely view of the St. Croix River.
A bit more: Woolley’s Steakhouse — Don’t miss their famous Champagne Brunch, with chef stations, carved New York strip steak, turkey, and ham, plus a tuna bar, oysters, and seafood and the best of breakfast, lunch, and dinner — all for $39.95 for adults and $14.95 for children.
A bit different: Fogo de Chao Brazilian Steakhouse — Change things up this year with 16 cuts of delectable fire-roasted meats, Brazilian side dishes, and more for $49.50.

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Top Chef Season 12 Cheftestants Revealed

Mark your calendars and program your DVRs, food TV fans! On October 15, 2014, season 12 of Top Chef premieres. Set in Boston, Massachusetts, look for episodes taking place at The Bull and Finch Pub (aka Cheers), Fenway Park, and Plimoth Plantation, plus challenges centered around the first Thanksgiving, the inaugural Top Chef food festival, a fan appreciation meal in the Top Chef kitchen, and cooking for Boston’s police and fire departments. Last Chance Kitchen will also return, so even if your favorites packs their knives, they may live to compete another day. This season’s cheftestants are:

TC Season 12Doug Adams, chef de cuisine, Imperial, Portland, Oregon

Stacy Cogswell, executive chef, The Regal Beagle, Boston Massachusetts

Joy Crump, formerly of Woodfire Grill, Atlanta, Georgia

Ron Eyester, executive chef/owner, Rosebud, Atlanta, Georgia

Gregory Gourdet, executive chef, Departure Restaurant and Lounge, Portland, Oregon

Aaron Grissom, chef, Bow & Truss, Los Angeles, California

Adam Harvey, chef, Hometown Bar-B-Que, Brooklyn, New York

Melissa King, former sous chef, The Ritz-Carlton Dining Room, San Francisco, California

Rebecca LaMalfa, executive sous chef, Trenchermen, Chicago, Illinois

Mei Lin, sous chef, ink., Los Angeles, California

George Pagonis, executive chef/partner, Kapnos, Washington, D.C.

Michael Patlazhan, private chef, Brooklyn, New York

James Rigato, executive chef, The Root Restaurant & Bar, White Lake, Michigan

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Support Lovin’ Spoonfuls Food Rescue in Boston at a 6/10 Pop-Up Dinner with Zimmern, Bissonnette + More

Lovin' SpoonfulsOn June 10th, some of Boston’s most acclaimed chefs join food and television personality Andrew Zimmern to support Lovin’ Spoonfuls, a food rescue organization in Massachusetts, at a Pop-Up Dinner. In an absolute case of “This is not your mother’s stuffy fundraiser’, Lovin’ Spoonfuls founder Ashley Stanley reveals, “On Tuesday night, we’re bringing so many different kinds of people together —  to support our work, support their community, experience and share food, and have a great time. We’re beginning with great friends of Lovin’ Spoonfuls (Josh Smith of Moody’s, Michael Scelfo of Alden & Harlow and Louis DiBiccari of Tavern Road), presenting delicious small plates of charcuterie, an incredible-sounding strawberry and parsnip dish, and delicious crudo.” Four courses prepared by chefs Zimmern, Jamie Bissonnette, Matthew Jennings, and Joanne Chang follow. The event will also feature a photo booth, a meet and greet with all the chefs, signature cocktails created by OffSite and others, wines selected by MS Walker, craft beer from PEAK, TJ Connelly spinning on the decks.  More than that, though, this is a terrific opportunity for folks to join in the fight against hunger and food waste.

Lovin’ Spoonfuls was founded in 2010 and is dedicated to facilitating the rescue and distribution of healthy, fresh food that would otherwise be discarded. This food is then delivered to community organizations and resources where it can have the greatest impact, such as homeless shelters and soup kitchens. Founder Ashley Stanley started Lovin’ Spoonfuls after learning how much food is thrown away, both in the U.S. and abroad, and realizing, “Wasting so much food in the face of what has felt like an unsolvable problem (hunger) has gone unaddressed.” She took to the streets, observing how much waste local supermarkets were producing and, then, tapping her skills as a former Division I soccer goalie, she stood in front of a dumpster “and tried to make the save.”

Since then, Lovin’ Spoonfuls has grown from Stanley and her car (and, presumably, her goalie gloves) to a fleet of temperature-controlled vehicles and seven full-time employees, rescuing and distributing more than 1.5 million pounds of fresh, healthy food to folks who don’t know where their next meal is coming from. Stanley says, “For so long, we’ve been sort of punched in the face with the messages that hunger exists, and there’s not enough food to feed everyone. We’re challenging those messages. There is enough food — but the choices we make as a global community keep it from being harvested, getting it to where it needs to go. I want to support a solution to end hunger, not the cause. This is the most preventable problem that we’ve got.” Unfortunately, it is a growing one. She notes, “There are 49 million people (16 millions of them children) in this country who don’t know where their next meal is coming from. That’s about 800,000 people in the Bay State, over 200,000 of them are kids. Hunger relief has to be able to evolve to meet the world where it’s at right now.”

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