Exciting news from the Concord foodie front: Chef Carolyn Johnson, who heads the kitchen at 80 Thoreau, is one of 10 New England chefs—and 100 across the country—nominated for FOOD & WINE magazine’s “The People’s Best New Chef” for 2013.
Now that she’s received the nomination, her fate is in the hands of “The People,” as the public can vote for their favorite chef online. The voting commenced at 10 a.m. yesterday and runs through next Monday, March 18. You can vote here, on the FOOD & WINE website.
Johnson’s cooking is often described as “rustic and refined.” She, along with 80 Thoreau, have received a smattering of regional recognitions since the restaurant opened less than two years ago.
Recently, 80 Thoreau sought to further elevate the suburban dining experience with the introduction of a chef’s tasting menu. According to Johnson, this offering enables 80 Thoreau to highlight products—like Cape scallops, squab or venison tenderloin—that don’t necessarily fit into the regular menu due to cost, quantity, seasonal availability or some other variable.
According to a press release, “The People’s Best New Chef” award is an extension of FOOD & WINE’s traditional “Best New Chef” program, and honors chefs who have run their own kitchen for five years or fewer. Nominees are separated into 10 different regions across the country, including New England, Great Lakes and Gulf Coast. The top vote-getters from those 10 will be named finalists, with the chef who receives the most votes overall being named “The People’s Best New Chef.”
The winner will be revealed March 19 online at www.foodandwine.com, and will also be featured in the July 2013 issue of FOOD & WINE, the same issue that profiles the Best New Chefs.