He didn't win in 2011, but Max MacKissock, chef and co-owner of the Squeaky Bean, has another opportunity to emerge victorious in Food & Wine magazine's People's Best New Chef battle -- an award that MacKissock was also nominated for in 2011.
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Each year, since 2011, the monthly food pub has given its readers the chance to vote online for their favorite new chef, of which there are 100 -- ten chefs from the same number of regions, and MacKissock is the only Colorado chef who nabbed a nomination in the Southwest region.
Food & Wine supplies a short bio of each chef vying for the award, and there's plenty of praise for MacKissock: "His time spent cooking in Italy and his love of heirloom vegetables is evident in his spectacular dishes, which often feature a single ingredient in many ways--for instance, roasted, stewed, raw and pureed," writes the magazine. That -- and several other reasons -- also helped MacKissock win a Westword Best of Denver Best Chef halo in 2011.
This could be a huge year of accolades for MacKissock, who's also a 2013 James Beard semi-finalist, as is his wife, Jennifer Jasinski, who owns Rioja, Bistro Vendome and Euclid Hall, the latter of which is overseen by her chef de cuisine, Jorel Pierce, who's also a semi-finalist. Alex Seidel, chef-owner of Fruition, along with Williams & Graham, Frank Bonanno and Frasca Food and Wine are also among this year's James Beard semi-finalists. The finalists will be announced on Monday, March 18.
In the meantime, voting for Food & Wine's Best New Chef competition gets underway today, and runs through March 18. Go vote! Now!