Is Houston Home to Food & Wine's Best New Chef?
Hot off the heels of the big James Beard Award finalist nominations—one for Justin Yu of Oxheart and one for Hugo Ortega of Hugo's—come two more Houston honors, this time from Food & Wine. The magazine has released its annual list of 100 of the country's hottest new chefs in 10 geographic areas. In Southwest region, two of those chefs hail from Houston.
Ryan Pera was nominated for his work at Coltivare, where F&W praises the provenance of his ingredients, writing:
Because his modern Italian dishes and wood-fired pizzas take the terms “fresh” and “local” to a new level: Most of their elements come either from Pera’s restaurant-cum-general-store, Revival Market (which peddles goods from Houston-area farmers, ranchers and cheesemakers), or from Coltivare’s gorgeous 3,000-square-foot backyard garden.
Adam Dorris was nominated for his work at Pax Americana, where F&W says he's "transforming Texans' ideas of what dinner can be with dishes such as Gulf tilefish with braised kale, smoked ham and cauliflower and pecorino crema."
The best chef in each region will be determined by reader votes, with the polls open until Wednesday, April 8. After the polls are closed, votes will be tallied and Food & Wine will announce its 10 best new chefs in America in an upcoming issues. Meanwhile, the chef with the most votes overall will win the coveted title of The People's Best New Chef for 2015. Last year's top 10 chefs included Beard nominee Justin Yu—and with four chefs from Austin (and one from Dallas) on this year's Southwest chefs finalist list, it's just as important for Houston to clinch another top 10 chef in 2015.