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.
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.
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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!