A tie between Saipin Chutima of Lotus of Siam (Las Vegas) and Tyson Cole of Uchi (Austin) for "Best Chef: Southwest", that is. We asked the chefs what foods they'll be celebrating with. Smiley Saipin spoke through her translator and said she doesn't know because she's so excited, beaming the entire time. Chef Cole said he was craving chocolate. So, does he like dessert? "Only if it's chocolate," he said seriously. Only champagne in the Mercedes-Benz Victory Lane room, unfortunately... - Amy
* Chaiyo is an expression of gladness in Thai. We just learned that. You're welcome.
“I was actually in the midst of a busy lunch service when our GM/executive chef’s assistant Amy Livingston had someone on the staff come tell me that she needed to see me right away. I came into the office, which was filled with some of the sous-chefs and dining room managers and they began clapping. She told me I was nominated! I guarantee my face was red from blushing! Later that night I did get a chance to celebrate with one of my very close friends, a bottle of Champagne, and dance floor!
–Angela Pinkerton of Eleven Madison Park, nominated for Outstanding Pastry Chef
Gabrielle Hamilton, Prune, winner of the Best Chef of NYC, when asked about her tattoos, shared a couple intimate stories with us. These are the names of her two boys, Marco and Leone, and another on her left bicep of Temple Bar years ago, thinking the bar won't be around anymore. But! It still is :) ~Fiona
Best Chef: Pacific Michael Tusk of Quince in San Francisco told us he was elated that his win is happening this year when his family has gone through some hardships. Still have not had the fortune of dining at the renowned Quince, but hoping it happens very soon. ~Fiona