Syhabout, whose food I loved up a
few months ago, is doing the exactly kind of inventive, iconoclastic cooking the magazine tends to reward. Last year, for
example, the Restaurant at Meadowood's Christopher Kostow
and Bay Area traitor Nate Appleman won; in 2008, it was Jeremy
Fox, recently departed from Ubuntu. The Best New Chef honor seems to be a lifetime one, as F&W
likes to keep pimping award winners throughout
the course of their careers.
So far as I can tell from the clues, West Coast chefs are
showing well this year, with Roy Choi of Kogi in L.A., Matthew Lightner of Castagna in Portland, and possibly ― I may be way off-base with this
one ― Jason Stratton of Spinasse in Seattle. F&W will be
announcing the full list at 5 p.m. Pacific time via its Web site and brand-new iPhone
app. Or you can check the Twitter feed of this Chicago food writer, who seems to have ID'd 9 out of 10 so far.
UPDATE: This photo of the F&W cover photo shoot, leaked via Twitter, confirms that Syhabout (and Stratton) made the list.