's fourth-annual the People's Best New Chef nominees have been announced, and two Miami chefs are in the running.
Jose Mendin, director of culinary operations for the Pubbelly Restaurant Group, and Giorgio Rapicavoli, chef/partner of Eating House and the soon-to-open Taperia Raca, are among the 100 toques nominated for the award, which "honors talented up-and-coming innovators who have run their own kitchens for five years or fewer."
This award differs from Food & Wine's Best New Chef award in that popular vote determines the winner. The 100 nominees are divided into ten chefs in ten regions across America (for some reason, Florida is in the Gulf Coast category), and readers are asked to vote online for the most deserving chefs. The toque with the most votes in each region will be named a finalist, and the finalist with the most overall votes will be named the People's Best New Chef. The finalists and winner will be announced online April 2, and the winner will be featured in the July 2014 issue.
Rapicavoli is proud to be nominated along with a man he considers his mentor. "Jose and I are the only chefs named from the whole state of Florida. Neither of us had financial backers. We opened with no money with IKEA furniture, doing what we believed in and working hard."
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Mendin tells Short Order: "It's an honor to be nominated among all these amazing chefs. Hopefully, Miami takes it this year!"
To vote for Rapicavoli and Mendin, and have Miami take home the win, visit foodanewine.com/the--peoples-bnc through Monday, March 31, at 5 p.m.