This past Saturday night, each chef was given a separate station inside the beautiful Aspen Meadows Resort from which to offer a single signature dish. In his or her own way, each chef showed exactly why they had been included in this select group. The food was simply amazing.
After everyone had ample opportunity to graze through each chef's table, it was time to announce the best of the best, and the results were deliciously ironic. At a dinner celebrating the most creative new chefs in the country, featuring exotic ingredients prepared with the newest of new-school techniques, it was Nate Appleman's simple, amazingly tender meatballs that took the top spot.
Served in a rich tomato sauce, topped with grated Grana Padano cheese, Nate's plate was a triumph of homey and satisfying over his fellow chef's riskier, more adventurous creations. It should also be mentioned, while his delicious food was certainly not the most creative, his brilliant use of social networking was.
To assist the editors from Food & Wine with their decision, for the first time ever, a text-in vote by the guests in attendance was used. The quick-thinking Appleman used Facebook and Twitter to help get out the vote. That is so something a "Best New Chef" would do.
By the way, tomorrow I'll be posting a complete image gallery with captioned photos, introducing each chef and their creations. The food was as beautiful as it was delicious, so be sure check back and take a look!
Photos (c) John Mitzewich