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Best New Chef

I wasn't allowed to mention this until the issue was published, but Chris has been named Best New Chef of the Year by New Orleans Magazine. Articles from the current issue probably won't be up for a week or two -- I'll post a link to his feature then. It seems funny given that he has been cooking in New Orleans for sixteen years now, but the Delachaise is the first local restaurant where he's been head chef, so I suppose he is in fact a New Chef at age 45. I'm ashamed to admit that my knowledge of this award has probably added to the tiresome Kenneth Halliwell routine I've been doing lately -- I had to resist changing this blog's subtitle to "The Journal of a Middle-Aged Nonentity," after a cruel remark a producer once made to Halliwell at a party -- but I truly am happy for him, and this can only be good for both of us.

Adding to the honor, the Best Chef (Overall) is not some embarrassing atrocity, but our talented friend Adolfo Garcia of Rio Mar and La Boca. I totally disagree with the magazine's choice for Best New Restaurant -- Iris, an uncomfortably tiny, gratuitously artsy-fartsy Riverbend place where the food runs to soft, sweet, and bland, with vague, unconvincing Asian touches. However, it's not as if they had a bumper crop of new restaurants to choose from this year, and Iris at least seems to mean well. The chef is very young (maybe too young to have his own restaurant, but unfortunately there seems to be a pervasive idea in the food world these days that chefs haven't really Made It if they don't open their own places before they turn thirty) and may yet improve.

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