Food & Wine Nominates Three St. Louis Chefs as "The People's Best" [Updated 2x]

Food & Wine Nominates Three St. Louis Chefs as "The People's Best" [Updated 2x]
Do you think St. Louis' best chefs deserve more national attention? Well, the power to bring them that acclaim is now in your hands.

Anthony Devoti of Five Bistro, Josh Galliano of Monarch and Kevin Willmann of Farmhaus are among the 100 chefs nationwide vying to be named "The People's Best New Chef" by Food & Wine magazine.

The contest, being held in conjunction with CNN food blog Eatocracy, is a new twist to Food & Wine's annual "Best New Chefs" issue. In that issue, the magazine selects ten up-and-coming chefs whom it feels are deserving of greater recognition. (Gerard Craft of Niche was the first and remains the only St. Louis chef so honored.) "The People's Best New Chef" will allow the public to vote for an additional chef to join Food & Wine's ten "Best New Chefs" for 2011.

More, including reaction, after the jump.

Food & Wine officially announced the 100 nominated chefs today, but some names, including Galliano and Willmann, had leaked by yesterday afternoon, as Evan Benn of the Post-Dispatch reported.

The 100 chefs are divided into ten regions. (The St. Louis chefs are in the Midwest region. As with the James Beard Awards, this region doesn't include Chicago.) The chef who receives the most votes in each region will be named a finalist, and the chef who wins the most votes across all ten regions will be named "The People's Best New Chef."

Vote for Food & Wine magazine's "The People's Best New Chef" here.

Gut Check has reached out to all three for comment and will update the post as we hear back from them.

Update: (Tuesday, 2/15, 11:41 a.m.) Anthony Devoti tells Gut Check that while he knew that something was happening involving Food & Wine, he didn't know for certain that was among the 100 nominated chef until today.

"It's pretty exciting," he says. "It's pretty kick-ass."

As far as campaigning for votes, Devoti says, "I'm sure we'll do something in the restaurant and on the [Five Bistro] website." Mainly, though, he adds, Five Bistro will "keep doing what we do."

Update #2: (Tuesday, 2/15, 4 p.m.) Josh Galliano's reaction to the news? "Holy shit!"

Galliano learned about the nomination upon returning from a trip to Charleston. "It was pretty cool," he says. "It was really like riding one kind of a high after another."

Galliano acknowledges that the idea of a vote renders this a giant "high-school popularity contest" for chefs. Also, the requirement that these "new" chefs have been in the kitchen for five years or fewer has left out many worthy competitors.

"They deserve it just as much as anyone else."

Galliano sees social media playing a key role in any campaigning. "My bosses are very good and savvy about that kind of stuff," he says. "There's already an email newsletter about it."
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