Food & Wine magazine announced today that voting has begun in its third annual People’s Best New Chef award. And once again, Central Florida has a nominee on the list.
Hari Pulapaka, the chef and owner of Cress restaurant in DeLand, has once again been included on the list of 100 chefs designated by the magazine as noteworthy newcomers. (To be eligible for the award, chefs must have operated their own kitchens for no more than five years.) F&W has divvied the nation into 10 regions with 10 chefs in each. Central Florida falls into the Gulf Coast region.
The People’s Best New Chef award, as the name might suggest, is determined by popular vote via online balloting. (You weren’t thinking it was distinguishing these cooks from, say, the Animals’ Best New Chef, were you?) The chef with the most votes in each region will be named a finalist and the finalist with the most votes overall will be named The People’s Best New Chef. Finalists will be announced March 19 (balloting ends March 18). The People’s Best New Chef will be announced in the magazine’s July 2013 issue, which also happens to be the issue in which the non-people’s Best New Chef will be revealed (which also does not indicate a non-human designation but rather the choice of Food & Wine and not the voting public).
Pulapaka shares the Gulf Coast region’s ballot with four chefs from New Orleans, three from Miami Beach and Coral Gables, and two from San Juan, Puerto Rico, which I’ve never considered to be part of the Gulf Coast, but what do I know about geography and tidal flow?
To see the list of all the nominees, and to place your ballot, follow this link to Food & Wine magazine.