Food & Wine just announced the People's Best New Chef nominees in ten U.S. regions, as voted by the magazine's readers and website visitors. And out of ten chefs nominated as People's Best New Chef in the Southwest Region, Denver has two on the list: Alex Figura of Lower48 Kitchen and Steven Redzikowski of Oak at Fourteenth and Acorn.
Since seven of the remaining ten nominees cook in Texas — four in Austin alone — your vote could help propel a Denver chef to victory. After all, we wouldn't want to see a Texan win, would we? Cast your vote on the Food & Wine website, where you can also read the chef bios. The voting opens today and goes through 3 p.m. Denver time on April 8.
Each of the ten regions have ten finalists; the top vote-getter will be named People's Best New Chef for the entire country.The winner will be announced on April 9 and will be featured in the magazine's July issue. The people's choice winner will also be eligible to become Food & Wine's Best New Chef for 2015.
Lower48 won our Best New Restaurant award in 2014, thanks to Figura's menu featuring an inventive and ever-changing list of small plates that nonchalantly walks the line between simple plating that highlights seasonal ingredients and high-tech artistry that surprises with unique texture and flavor combinations. Redzikowski won our Best Chef award this year for the combination of elegance and playfulness he coaxes from wood-fired oven at both of his restaurants. The two chefscollaborated on a dinner at Lower48 for Art Culinaire magazine last month.