Voting For Food & Wine People’s Choice Best New Chef Starts Now

And a Philly chef must win this.

Nick Elmi. You're not going to not vote for that face.

Nick Elmi. You’re not going to not vote for that face.

Food & Wine‘s fifth annual People’s Choice Best New Chef competition is officially underway, and Philly is reasonably well represented with Nicholas Elmi, Peter Serpico, and Greg Vernick all getting nominations. Voting begins today and ends April 8th, so you should probably (definitely) vote to make sure one of our boys makes it through to the finals. Do it for them. Do it for me. Do it because NO Philly chefs made the editor’s list of Best New Chefs this year. It’s your civic duty.

The competition is divided up into ten regions, with ten chefs in each region. The chefs with the most votes in each region will become finalists, at which point another vote will take place to determine who gets the title of Best New Chef (and the accompanying spread in the July 2015 issue of Food & Wine). Within the Mid-Atlantic region, Philly chefs make up 30% of the pool, Washington DC Chefs make up 40%, Richmond Chefs make up 20%, and Pittsburgh makes up the final 10% (read: there is one Pittsburgh chef).

Are you all following this? It’s important. This is like the Superbowl, but with less sports and more food.

In case you don’t know who the Philly nominees are, here is some background on each of them.

Elmi is the head chef at Laurel (which incidentally was first on our list of 50 best restaurants this year), and the winner of Top Chef season 11. He’s also reasonably handsome. Serpico is the guy behind the oddly coincidentally named Serpico, which boasts some of the most innovative and precisely executed dishes in the city. Vernick, the owner and head chef at Vernick Food and Drink (also strangely named!), has been churning out simple, elegant and delicious food since he opened the place in 2012.

It doesn’t matter which of our Philly chefs you vote for (except that it does matter a little to me), but it does matter that you vote for one of them. We will not be outdone by Washington DC (or god forbid, Pittsburgh).

Vote below. Vote often. Vote Philly.

The People’s Best New Chef [Food & Wine]